Skating Fridays

ISU Competition Recap – Free Skate

ISU free skate

Well, I’m just going to get right to the point – my free skate was pretty much a disaster. I got four (!) elements dashed, which means that I earned a whopping 0 points for them. Two of the dashes I expected (stupid underrotated axels!!!), but two of them were complete surprises.

ISU free skate

I wasn’t nervous going into this competition, which was a relief, because I was very nervous and anxious before my previous competition. This time, I was pretty relaxed and focused. I had a great warmup and even landed a big, clean axel. Spins felt pretty good (except the camel spin, but I executed a good one at the very end of the warmup).

Following my friend S’s advice, I made eye contact with the judges before I took my starting pose. I emoted as best as I could and tried to stretch things out. Unfortunately, I bobbled a bit in my opening spin and only managed to pull off 2 windmills (you need 3 for it to receive a level). I went into the first axel and knew that I didn’t fully rotate it. ARGH.

ISU free skate

I was worried about the flying reverse sit spin, but I did it and it felt low enough. Sadly, I got that spin dashed. My educated guess is that I didn’t get into the sit position within 2 revolutions, so it didn’t count (dang you, ISU rules!). I was slightly late going into the second axel, and therefore I rushed it and underrotated that jump too.

For the final spin, I went into my normal sit spin and changed into a broken leg position. My position for the broken leg must not have been low enough because I got that spin dashed as well. It was so frustrating because these have been pretty low during practices.

ISU free skate

Even though I did not skate the way I do in practice (clean programs), I still had a blast. I enjoyed meeting skaters from all over the world and made friends with New Zealanders, Canadians and Japanese athletes. I loved cheering everyone on and supporting them throughout the week.

I knew that I would be challenging myself by entering the Gold level in an international competition. Most of my US-based Gold peers skated at the Silver level, so I knew I’d have some tough competition. However, I did not come in last place, and I also earned a level 1 on my step sequence! So despite the disappointing outcome and performance, there were still plenty of bright spots. I’ll use those as motivation to carry me forward to the next competition.

Now that I have this competition behind me, I will be reverting back to my “normal” program without the required leveled step sequence and flying spin. Oh, and I will age out of the Gold 2 age group in 2 days, so peace out! Gold 3, here I come!


  1. Luanne Meyer
    November 4, 2023 / 7:40 am

    I admire your determination and hard work ethic. Your skating looks marvelous to me and I hope you enjoy the future competitions. Good luck and keep looking beautiful!

    • evabakes
      November 5, 2023 / 8:48 am


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