What an amazing experience I've had attending the 2008 U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships in Lake Placid, New York! I've just returned back home to New York City, and the last few days have been a blur. The four-day event, from April 9 - 12, is packed with skating warm-ups and competition starting at 6 a.m. and ending at 10 p.m. This is the most fun I've had watching singles, pairs, ice dancing and interpretive free skate. The parking lot is also a hoot, with the most vanity license plates having to do with skating in one place.
At Adult Nationals, I met skaters competing at an unbelievable level, who are 21 and over, into their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond, and one thing is crystal clear: every single skater epitomizes the spirit of what the joy and love of skating is all about. No corporate endorsements or Olympic aspirations to speak of -- just the love of skating and the tremendous support of fellow skaters, friends and family, who recognize that if you're lucky enough to find a passion in life, you embrace it for life.
In the next few weeks, I will be culling through over 750 photographs and hours and hours of video to share with you what Adult Nationals is all about. I'll be posting interviews with the Duck Lady, Duck Lady II, Ice Woman, Jack Sparrow, the Monster, Don Quixote, and many others who skated in the interpretive free skate, as well as skaters who donned "regular" skating outfits and also completely wowed the audience. The audience was also the best in the world, cheering skaters when they did well and cheering louder when they got up after a fall. It was a completely different atmosphere from any other competition and I left Lake Placid with a deep appreciation and admiration for the over 600 skaters who came from all over the U.S. to compete in this event.