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Thread: Christel's Saturday at Worlds Report

  1. #1

    Default Christel's Saturday at Worlds Report

    Hey guys, this is Christel here. I know most of you may already be sleeping, but I’m finally at home in Germany (but I’m not German – U.S. military brat) exhausted yet still up at the crack of dawn because I don’t want to go to bed. I have hardly gotten any sleep for nearly 24 hours, but I promised some of you that I would come back with a report. Now I haven’t read any threads since yesterday before I left for the LP, so if you wonder why I’m saying some of things I do its because of that and because I usually avoid posting any negative thoughts, but after today, I just feel the need that I have to right now, for once. I have noticed some titles of threads, and I’m sure that I may be repeating some stuff.

    The whole week has been so strange, but just this one day felt like forever. I woke up early yesterday to catch a four-hour train ride to Dortmund so I could watch the only event I could get tickets to, the once-in-a-lifetime chance I could watch Michelle compete. But from the start of the week I’ve been getting bad vibes. Just brushed them off till I got to “Worlds, baby!” and found my seats in Levela Angelica. I wandered around a bit 40 min before the LP started and tried to look for MKFers, but no luck. I did catch some banners and signs though I was trying to grasp the whole effect of Worlds, baby while entering every door in the arena that didn’t have a guard in front I thought the place was gonna’ be packed, but I saw spots of empty seats. I think even the people who sat next to me stole some seats in the lower area because they never came back after the Zamboni break. It is so easy to get distracted in that arena, especially from where I was sitting because I could see everything else going on while someone was skating. And I have to admit, I was questioning some of the marks and placements they were giving out in the first 2 groups. Hmm…let’s see what I remember most…mostly the last group.

    Sasha and Michelle almost collided again. TWICE. It was always in the same area. You could hear the gasping in the crowd and I was just up there making my little comments (not against either MK or Sasha, about the fact that it was happening again but from what I’ve heard it really does have tendency to happen quite a bit). They did do this lil’ synchronized jump thing. Michelle looks so cute when she does her warm-up exercises. Arakawa was great. I’ve never really payed attention to her, but it wowers. It scared me. The whole time I was thinking about the strategies people have been saying about how someone needs to beat Sasha in the LP, but Michelle also has to finish 1st, something like that. Then when Sasha went it looked like she had it. I saw the confidence before she went out there. But my mom kept wondering why she took so long to start. Then the mistake. That was a costly one. So she’s in second. And the strategy just keeps popping up in my head. I tried to make it go away. Then when they announced Michelle’s name and she did her laps, I didn’t even notice the tutu-goldenpalace guy until he started undressing. He just popped out of nowhere. I saw Michelle go around once or twice after she noticed, and I couldn’t really tell if she was shrugging or smirking or what. But I wanted her off the ice. I wanted that guy off the ice. Of all the nerve! I played that segment back on my tape a few minutes ago and on TV it seems much shorter than what it actually felt like in the arena. Maybe because of the different angles and cuts with the cameras. But from up where I was, I saw it all at once and boy was Raf angry. He motioned for MK to come back to the boards and when I watched her walk in with her back turned the whole time my concern had reached its maximum. I was just so worried about what she was thinking. I don’t understand why the people were laughing. That was NOT FUNNY. At all. I was so angry. You could tell Raf was by the way he was talking to some of the officials. I’m so glad though that the audience gave Michelle an encouragement applause while she was taking her time. I haven’t seen the ABC version, but I almost always agree with Simon and Chris, and this was very DISGRACEFUL. And I will get to that later.

    When she started, I knew she was keeping her cool. She’s Michelle. But that one side where she doubled was the same spot that was giving problems to a number of the previous skaters, according to my mom. I was cheering my butt off though the whole time. I loved it. OVATION. She deserved it. When I was waiting for her scores I was so nervous. The techs I wasn’t too thrilled about, but when I saw 6.0’s I was loud again. People in front of me must’ve thought I was crazy. When I saw the ordinals and placement I planted my head in my lap. From then my legs would not stop shaking and the thought of Michelle being pushed off the podium worried me. Miki (passed her running/jogging on the second level) went, and she looked on the ball as Sasha did, but…she wasn’t. And Carolina! I felt so bad for her. Being the Michelle fan that I am, I blurted out a modest yes and gentle fist pump that Michelle kept her medal streak going.

    The ceremony…for me, it was sad not to hear the U.S. anthem, and to see Michelle on the bottom step, but I know that Arakawa and Sasha had amazing skates throughout the week. After the victory laps, and when most of the people were leaving, Michelle had an interview in the kiss and cry with the German TV channel. People were crowding up in those front rows and afterwards she went over to say hi and sign a banner, but Raf handed her a cell phone and she went in the back to talk, then came back facing the wall behind the kiss and cry and her back to the bystanders/fans. I think she might’ve been talking to someone in her family, maybe Karen or her parents, but I don’t even know if they came to Dortmund or not. That separation bar is the closest I’ve gotten to Michelle Kwan lol. I wasn’t really listening in, but I could hear her talking and I was just like “Wow, it’s Michelle!” lol. Kwanstruck. I was gonna say something after she hung up, but Raf started talking to her and interruption’s not my thing. I saw her shadow signing an autograph lol. And then she left. I don’t know how you guys “bump” into Michelle, I have no idea whatsoever how to go about doing that. Irina came out and signed some autographs, she’s so much smaller than what I thought, I know they all are! My mom tried to ask one of the people if Michelle was still around, but they said she already left. I would’ve too if I was her. So I gave up and was satisfied that I watched Michelle and Tosca. On one of the connections on the way back these very nice people said that their son knew MK so my mom and I asked if they could hand a card I wrote to Michelle (mentioning how proud MKF is) tomorrow since I wouldn’t make it to exhibitions. They were polite and really nice about it.

    The train ride back was more grueling than the first. We had to wait longer since it was at night and less trains were traveling. So we ate dinner downtown at KFC. I’m so mad at myself that I didn’t eat chicken. I couldn’t on Friday because I can’t eat meat that day, and I just wasn’t hungry all Saturday. We just happened to see KFC and I ate because I had to, and because I felt bad. But once my mom started talking about MK and asking me to explain the what-ifs strategies and the protest, I suddenly felt sooo sick.

    Speaking of sick….I’m sorry if what follows is too much on my behalf. I’ve been saying this ever since the competition ended. How could they (is it ISU?) be so careless in choosing Dortmund? But then again, the “secret judging” system is yet another flaw. No security. No enforcement of rules. There were so many errors in the expected “procedure” that I caught in a span of just 6 hours. I entered Westfallenhalen expecting them to search my bag and question my digital camera, yet all they check are tickets??? Then I see a man with a video camera and people with their flashes on! And the scoreboard! Where is the efficiency? I must have caught 10 typos within the last two groups ranging from WOLRD figure……to MICHELL EKWAN….to Raf’s jumbled name. AND that guy. There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for the appearance of the tutu-goldenpalace-trying-to-psych-MK-out guy. THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE. They put the skater’s lives at risk and endangered them. Especially Michelle. Dortmund may not have been the best place to have championships. I personally would’ve preferred Frankfurt. But if it didn’t have to be in Germany, I wouldn’t have a problem with it being in North America or USA again. The things I witnessed I wouldn’t have seen happen. The security would’ve been tighter and I know the U.S. cares about the safety of their skaters. I’m very bitter about what has gone on this week. This will probably get lots of media coverage now, should they choose to run with everything else as well as the protest. This is not the kind of attention figure skating needs right now. It’s been under fire for the past two years and shouldn’t have to continue on. Drama and controversy should not surround a sport that should be portrayed with elegance and elite.

    MODERATORS: If there is anything in here that may be offensive or inappropriate to the Forum , please let me know immediately.

    But to look on the brighter side, Michelle did skate well. And I’m very proud of the way she handled everything. I know the bronze is a blessing in disguise, just as SLC was. And if you were watching the medal ceremony, Michelle showed such class, being a leader of the group and super nice to them. The comfort I felt was because of Michelle’s smile. Because of it, I know everything’s still going to be alright.

    I know this was long–it was long for me to write! I just had to vent out.


  2. #2
    tnt2001isnt Guest


    Oh thank you so much for taking the time to write about your experiences even though you must be exhausted. I was hoping to hear some first hand reports from Germany, and I'm glad you provided them. Have a good sleep/rest!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Default Thank you Christel

    ...for sharing your experience and your insights with us!

    What a bizarre competition! And through it all Michelle showed great class and grace under pressure.

    You must be so-o tired. I'm emotionally exhausted just from watching all the shenanigans from my living room sofa! Its amazing how involved you can get over something like this....

    I agree with you completely about the lack of security. Thank goodness that idiot wasn't there to harm anyone; but just to get attention.

    Anyway, take care and thanks again for keeping in touch!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Listening to Aslan's Creation Song

    Default Re: Thank you Christel

    Thank you! I'm up way late too, but I'm glad I got to see your post. I really enjoyed reading your report.

    And God bless you & your family for being in the military & serving our wonderful US of A!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 1999

    Default skateworkds1

    Thanks, Christel. Great first hand report.

    grannie frances

  6. #6

    Default Re: skateworkds1

    Thanks for the report Christel

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Phoenix AZ

    Default Re: skateworkds1

    Thanks for your report, Christel! Very interesting. I think we are all wiped out by now. I know I am. Slept like a log last night after being up for almost 24 hours on and off the computer constantly!

  8. #8

    Default Re: skateworkds1

    Great report, Cristel. Thanks! Glad you were able to see the kween skate live. It really is a thrill, even in Levela Angelica! And she was wonderful!

  9. #9
    honey827 Guest

    Default Re: skateworkds1

    Thanks so much for the report and can I say I agree with you completely about that tutu wearing moron.

  10. #10

    Default Thank you Christel

    What a wonderful report and for staying up so late to write it. I totally agree with you about the safety of the skaters. As much problems as skating has had I do believe they should look at the overall situation and see what is the best for them and not the public.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Thank you Christel

    thanks so much for your report..i'm so happy for you that you were able to see michelle and tosca....and to give us this much detail...i appreciate it very much...take care and be safe.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Thank you Christel

    Thanks for your firsthand report. I wish that Cinquanta could see it!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Thank you Christel

    Thanks Christel. you made me feel as if I was there. I liked what you said of MK on the podium. All this just makes me admire her more!

  14. #14


    Thanks for your replies, guys. I got a few hours of sleep after I posted and even though I'm wide awake, this kind of thing can really wear you down. It was all worth it, though.

    I wanted to add that it's so much different seeing Michelle skate live versus TV. Really can't it explain it lol. And yep, everyone who has seen or met MK is right. She really does look even more beautiful in person!!!


  15. #15
    crazysoul80 Guest


    Thanks for your report!

    I have one question. It seemed to me when Michelle skated her short that the audience reaction wasn't that receptive and some even booed at her scores because they were too high or because they were too low? Can you explain that?

    But I noticed the opposite in the long. The audience was roaring even before she started the program, which I'm guessing was due to her composure from the stalker incident. And they roared every time she completed a jump. So is it safe to say that the German crowd was very much into Michelle, giving her only the 2nd standing ovation?

    All this talk of the European crowd not digging Michelle just annoyed me a little so I wanted to clarify that.

  16. #16
    Angkok Guest


    Very interesting report. Thank you!

  17. #17


    I know what you mean about seeing Michelle skate live in person vs tv. It just doesn't come through on the tv the same as being there live.You really get the jist that it is a sports event when you are there. Thats funny the arena at Atlanta erupted and roared everytime she landed a jump too. And afterwards,you just feel gloriously lucky to have seen her
    skate with her heart and soul.

  18. #18


    Crazysoul - I wasn't there for the short program, only the long. But I heard their response on television, and I think that they would've been booing for the low marks rather than for the marks being too high. During the long, I heard a mix of cheers and some boos, but that was for tech, and when presentation marks came up there were much louder cheers for the 6.0s. When they announced her third placement, I'm not sure I remember how it sounded like because my head was starting to throb LOL. But again, it's great that she came back the way she did. And as for the reception before her skate, it could be from the streaker incident and trying to motivate Michelle, but Michelle always captivates her audience. It's very fair to say that the European crowd respects Michelle a lot. Before I went I wasn't too worried about them not liking MK. I knew they would already love her or find out that they did.

    Gold Blossom - It was great to hear the crowd roaring for almost every element. I think being there I actually payed attention to the joy and passion in her skating more than just the "oh, she's gotta nail everything!" anxiety. I felt the fire when I was there. The standing ovation was insane. It even got my mom to stand up, and she's not much of a skating fan at all. I was very fortunate to have seen her.



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