The UK were well represented in Troyes, France. Widnes rink were particularly well represented by a great group of friendly free and dance skaters.
I travelled to the competition by myself, being the only skater from Coventry attending this year. Having left the family at home I flew to Paris and hired a car for the two hour drive through the countryside. The great thing about events like this is that you see familiar faces the moment you walk into the rink. Before even setting foot inside the rink I had met a familiar face from Milton Keynes. Upon entering the building I encountered two more UK stalkers that I have met several times at competitions and training camps. Not to mention a number of competitors from other countries that I had seen compete earlier this year in Berlin. Including a competitor from Milan who was in the same event as me, bronze men’s free skating.
I was made to feel very welcome by both old friends and new, including the large group from Widnes. The support UK competitors gave each other was amazing, and most welcome. It was great making new friends and spending time together outside the rink the following day was also really good fun.
Maybe it was the support and cheering from the UK crowd, or maybe it was not having anyone close to me present, not even my coaches, but I somehow gave my best performance ever. Not just a little better, but significantly better, scoring a new personal best.
Most of this improvement came from the presentation side of the marks rather than from the technical elements. Which is due to me making a few mistakes that cost me some marks. Despite this I gave my best performance and my most enjoyable skate ever. I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so much during a performance, I’m usually too busy concentrating and dealing with nerves.
I am so grateful for all the positive comments fellow skaters made when I finished my programme. Praising the speed, my sit spin (which sadly didn’t get called), my teapot and how much I was smiling during the performance. The latter especially meant a lot to me. I was so happy whilst skating and for a very long time afterwards 🙂