Monthly Archives: November 2011

2nd Annual Cyber Ice Skating Sale has begun

Tarpon Springs, FL / November 28, 2011 — The 2nd annual Cyber Ice Skating Sale began this week at and runs for seven days, ending on Saturday, December 3rd. The Cyber Skating Sale features discounts on the entire line of products in the IceSkatingWorld Pro Shop, from figure skating accessories to dresses and ice skates.

“Everyone talks about Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” explained Marta Nilsen, managing partner since 2000. “But we had never seen an online sale devoted specifically to figure skaters. Our clientele isn’t looking for a deal on the latest flat-screen television. They want savings on items they use in their skating every day.”

IceSkatingWorld LLC has been serving the ice skating community since 2000 by providing resources for figure skaters, parents, coaches and skating fans. In 2004 an online pro shop was added, offering merchandise from the leading manufacturers within the figure skating industry. Items from the online Pro Shop include protective gel pads, off-ice training tools, dresses, skates, the 2012 skating calendar and more. The products ship worldwide.

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My Experience at Cup of China, Part II – The Free Programs

by Renee Lacy

After a morning of slightly damp sight-seeing and shopping, it was time to head to the Oriental Sports Center.  I had packed a bag with a few snacks and an umbrella before leaving that morning.  It turned out to be very useful as I joined the throngs of umbrella wielding fans and headed up to the stadium from the metro station.

I got to my seat just as the ice dance warm up was starting.  The stadium was much more crowded today with even more fans with telephoto lenses.  The free dances were fun to watch.  I was very impressed with Samuelson and Gilles.  Apparently the judges were not.  The Shibutanis’ program was elegant and joyful.  It was amazing to see these dance teams in person.

Yu-Wang_Free Dance

Yu-Wang Free Dance

During the break I went to the ladies’ room where I discovered the proper way to line up for the toilet.  In Shanghai, you stand in front of the stall you want to go in and wait for the person to come out.  Hopefully you do not pick the slow one.  When I got back to my seat, it was occupied.  The locals were amused when I made the person move.

The ladies free skates went by quickly.  I was happy the US skaters did well.  The same was true for the men.  There was redemption, meltdowns and overall great and exciting skating.    If they ever do a movie about Michelle Kwan, I found her body-double in Chinese skater, Bingwa Geng.  I did a few double takes myself.

There was plenty of time before the pairs skated.  They have things running like clockwork.  I caused some trouble being polite and letting people cross in front of me while wandering around during the break.  The trick I learned is to just keep pushing through.  Do not stop or slow the flow of traffic or people behind you will make noises and push you.  Also, be warned – the stadium roof leaks.

The increased quantity of people in attendance made the food and drink lines so long.  The mystery dishes looked scarce, and the line was nearly endless.  Unfortunately this means you and I will never find out what “rock salt cheese” topping for fruit tea is.  Good thing I had my snacks and an extra piece of fried chicken I shoved into my bag at lunch time.

Wrapping up the night was the exciting pairs free programs where just about anything could and did happen: wild falls, repetitive lifts, overdone eye makeup, regal costumes, and frosty partner relations.  I would have stayed for the award ceremony after 10pm, but my camera battery was dead and the metro closes between 10:30 and 10:45pm, so I scurried off with the majority of the crowd.  At my ending metro stop, I found the golden arches for a late dinner.  Thankfully the rain had subsided, and I enjoyed a leisurely walk back to the hotel.  Now it’s time to pack up for the trip home tomorrow.

Thanks for sharing in this experience with me.  It’s been fun!

Ice Skating blogger Renee LacyRenee Lacy is a materials engineer, adult skater, and part time skating instructor.  She recently achieved a personal goal of passing the adult gold moves in the field test.

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Filed under Ice Skating Blog, Ice Skating Competitions, Ice Skating Events

My Experience at Cup of China 2011 – The Short Programs

This was the chance of a lifetime.  I had so many questions about what this experience would entail

by Renee Lacy

I’ll admit to being obsessed with ice skating for most of my life and when I was assigned to go on a business trip to Shanghai, China the same weekend as Cup of China, I was ecstatic.  Finally a chance to see an international competition!  The biggest event I had seen previously was U.S. Nationals in St. Louis.

I had a work colleague buy me tickets in advance.  The price was very reasonable; approximately $50 US for two full days of ice skating.  This was the chance of a lifetime.  I had so many questions about what this experience would entail:  What food would be served in the stadium, how the crowd would act, were there skating nuts like me in China, etc.

The Old City

I arrived in Shanghai a few days in advance to take care of some work assignments for my employer.  The evening I arrived the city was covered in fog and mist.  I survived the hour long taxi ride to the hotel that rivaled “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.”  Then there was the wake-up call that never came the next morning.  International travel can be so exciting.    Fast forward through two full days of work…

It was show time!  And I was still at work.  My co-worker from the Philippines decided to come along with me to see what figure skating was all about.  We tried to leave early to beat the traffic, but no luck.  My colleague was worried about me getting to the stadium at rush hour, so he decided to lead us most of the way there.  We hopped on a packed bus and headed to the metro station.  The ticket stations have English, so you just select the route and stop you want and insert your money.  Then you follow the lines of people to the train.  There were people everywhere, and just when you thought that the train was packed full, more people got on.  At the transfer point we switched trains, and he headed home.  There was a stop right at the Oriental Sports Center which is less than 1 year old and was previously used for the world swimming championships last summer.  We passed through some metal detectors and headed in just in time to see Carolina Kostner finishing her program.  Work paid transportation and lodging but that also comes with a price – and for me, it was missing the short dance and ladies short program.

During the resurfacing I cruised around the stadium to see what was available.  It turns out that concessions are not very popular.

Oriental Sports Center

There were a few places selling bottled drinks and cookies, a tea stand, and a counter with two mystery dishes with rice.  Risport had a display of skates and dresses and Canon had a booth where you could pose with skater cutouts and they would take and print your photo.

It was time for the men to begin skating.  I rushed in to discover that someone was sitting in my seat.  Apparently the Chinese are not shy about moving to a better seat.  I saw people moving around to empty seats all night.  So I joined in and sat in someone else’s spot.  The crowd was very polite and wanted everyone to do well.  There was noticeably more cheering for the Chinese skaters as should be expected in any host city arena.  Many people had cameras with long lenses and were taking action shots.

I was very impressed with the quality of skating as even the lower-ranked skaters were still displaying great skating skills.  We saw a quad or two, all kinds of costumes, and a few falls.  The pair skating was exciting with the tiny girls flying high.  I didn’t always agree with the judges’ ranking, but without an announcer telling you the skills, it’s hard to be sure what credit was given, so acceptance is the best policy  – in addition to looking up the summary online afterwards.

The crowd got a kick out of throwing things on the ice, but the stands were quite a bit higher and back away from the ice, so you needed a strong arm and heavy gift to make it.  The people really liked seeing the skaters hold up their gifts in the “Kiss and Cry” area on camera.

The lady seated next to me spoke English very well, and we chatted about the various skaters and programs.  She said she liked to see the skaters having a good time and skating to fun music.  Her favorite all time skater is Plushenko.  Mine is Kwan.  We bonded over skating, and now I can say that skating fanatics are the same everywhere.

Stay tuned for tomorrow for more about free skates and my experience at Cup of China!

Renee Lacy

Renee Lacy is a materials engineer, adult skater, and part time skating instructor.  She recently achieved a personal goal of passing the adult gold moves in the field test.

Learn more about Cup of China on Wikipedia along with official results for all events.

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