Looking back at the past week, I wanted to come up with ten memorable moments from the 2009 Nationals that I'll probably remember for a very long time. And it was really difficult to select ten -- I had to whittle the list down from an original 30. So here are my top ten moments and feel free to share your favorites as well in the comments section!
10. Gutsy short program by senior pairs skater Andrea Best, who fell at least 10 feet while partner Trevor Young had her in a lift. She got up and pure adrenaline must have kicked in, because she finished that program like a champion.
9. Senior men's skater Jonathan Cassar's unbelievable inside and outside spread eagles.
8. Alissa Czisny's short program. I could watch it over and over again. Wait, I think I did.
7. Junior pairs team Tracy Tanovich and Michael Chau in their free skate. They went for it and came from second place after the short to win the title.
6. The soaring lifts of senior pairs teams Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker and Caitlin Yankowskas and John Coughlin. They're in a class by themselves.
5. The teams that reminded me why I loved Phantom of the Opera in the first place: Senior pairs team Laura Lepzinski and Ethan Burgess and junior ice dance team Madison Chock and Greg Zuerlein (2009 junior champions as well)
4. Senior pairs team Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett's short program. I was thinking of Al Michaels' "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!"
3. Brandon Mroz's free skate to Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. He looked so free and unencumbered by any of the pressures going into the free skate. I was captivated by his performance.
2. Parker Pennington taking command in the short program (he was third) and relinquishing command in the free skate (he ended up in eighth).
1. C'mon...what do you think? Of course it's Jeremy Abbott winning the senior men's title. He was clearly the winner, clearly in a class by himself that night, and clearly this was his time.
Tie for first (okay I cheated): Alissa Czisny winning the senior ladies title. She didn't have the free skate of her life, but who cares? She had the best short program out there and seeing her atop the podium (see right) was a wonderful moment in figure skating.