Recap from Sectionals, Part 1 of 3: I am Yuzuru Hanyu
I am back from a fun-filled weekend at Sectionals. I drove with my training partner and best skating friend, K. There were a total of 3 ladies from my rink attending and competing, and it was fantastic having such a strong support group with me.
We arrived late on Thursday night and I had an unofficial practice on Friday around noon. There were about 20 total skaters on the ice, which made the practice very challenging. Since I jump and spin “the other way,” I had to be extra careful on the ice to make sure I wasn’t going to collide with someone. My session was filled with Gold and higher level skaters, so everyone was moving around very quickly.
At one point during my practice, I was setting up for my lutz jump. My entrance is the same as the majority of skaters: I do backwards crossovers, skate on my outside edge (on one foot), look behind me and jump if the coast is clear. In fact, Coach B has me looking behind me during the entire jump so I can make sure I am gliding on the correct edge.
This particular attempt was no different. I did my backwards crossovers, looked behind me for a good 5-10 seconds and skated on my backwards outside edge. I saw another skater about 5-10 feet from me and thought nothing of it. I wasn’t even ready to attempt the jump when out of nowhere, this skaters plowed right into me… HARD. Both of us fell, and my left elbow and arm were throbbing with immense pain. Both of us got up and asked if the other was OK, and we went on our way.
I didn’t anticipate that this skater would make such a sudden change in her pattern. I was watching her the entire time as I was setting up for my jump so I could make sure I didn’t run into anybody. She was moving so quickly and didn’t pay attention around her and literally skated right into me. Ironically, she jumps and spins “my way” so this was quite odd.
This collision really shook me up. I felt like Yuzuru Hanyu when he and Han Yan collided at the 2014 Cup of China:
|I was like the guy on the left, laying on the ice|
After the hard impact, I realized that my entire left elbow had become swollen, and that I was bleeding. My jumps and spins did not go well after that practice session, and my confidence was definitely gone.
I had another official practice on the day of the championship event, and that didn’t go well either. The collision really made a negative impact on me for the entire day, as I did not skate well during my event. The same skater (who ran into me) had another near-collision with me during the official practice ice.
I’ll recap my performance in the next post.