For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Heather and I’m part of the staff here at FSO. I was asked to write about my experience at the 2016 World Championships in Boston from the spectator perspective and this is my first official report. Bear with me as I’m not used to blogging and I also tend to ramble!
For my first official report, let me tell you a bit about myself. I’m a long time skating fan who has attended a several Grand Prix events, U.S. Nationals almost every year since 2004, and two Four Continents Championships, but never the World Championships even when it wasn’t too far from me. Boston is my first one and I have been anticipating this event since last January! It was always a dream of mine and a bucket list item to attend the World Championships so this trip is a big deal for me. I even skipped Nationals this year so I could focus mainly on Worlds. Worlds doesn’t come to the US all the time so this is a very special experience!
My mom and I left our hometown of Cincinnati on Tuesday morning around 11 a.m. (she and I usually travel together…she’s who got me into skating!) and after a slight delay in Washington DC during a layover, we arrived in Boston around 3:20 p.m. with a bit of a rough landing (the wind was still howling at that time!). I didn’t see any World signage at my terminal but everyone seemed to be enthusiastic about the big event going on in their city. I saw what looked like other skating fans in the airport too which was very cool. There’s definitely an energy and excitement here in Boston that’s very different from when I was here for U.S. Championships two years ago! It’s VERY cool.
We got to the hotel without any trouble thanks to a great cabbie and then headed to the arena to pick up our tickets at Will Call. We met up with some of our friends (including our seatmates), bought some great Worlds swag (for me it was a shirt, program, and pin….so far) and ended up watching some of the practices since we were all ready there. We got to see the Japanese and U.S. ladies practice and they were all amazing! Mao Asada was landing triple axels like they were single axels and I enjoyed Satoko Miyahara’s elegance in her long problem run through. Team USA’s Gracie Gold and Ashley Wagner looked wonderful in their run throughs as well. We also stayed for a few of the men’s groups and got to see among others Canada’s Patrick Chan and Nam Nguyen and Czech Republic’s Michal Brezina (whose name was apparently challenging for the announcer who never did say it right), the U.S. guys were all there (Grant Hochstein looked great ,was rock solid and very calm, and Max Aaron had a solid run through, but also had a couple of struggles on jumps), and Spain’s Javier Fernandez. You can’t really appreciate what Javi brings to skating until you see him in person. He just exudes personality and charisma in person!
We left after that group to head back to the hotel where we got more settled and unpacked in our room. It was nice to relax for a while knowing that we have a busy week of skating coming up! I was able to watch my favorite TV show (Chicago Fire….talk to me later about how much I love that show!) and catch up on my email, two things I know I won’t be doing much of this week once competition starts! It’s extremely exciting to finally be here though after over a year of waiting and with this being my first Worlds, I’m just sitting back and taking everything in. I’m excited to see all these champion skaters and to cheer on Team USA! Let the competition begin!!