Episode #23: 2009 US Nationals

A compilation of interviews with various skaters and fans from the 2009 US National Championships in Cleveland, Ohio. 19 minutes, 3 seconds.

Thanks to Fiona McQuarrie for transcribing these interview highlights:

Allison Manley, podcast host: I unfortunately was not able to make it to Nationals this year, new baby and all, but you regular listeners will know my good friend Kim Sailer. She offered to step in and do the podcast in my place, and a very wonderful job she did, I must say. She ran into some great people.

Rusty, “in-arena host”, on learning to appreciate skating: It’s an interesting sport. And I think what’s so interesting about it, and I’m guilty of this too, is that people watch, and they’ll see somebody change, you know, a triple into a double, and even as a casual viewer [you go] “Oh man, I can’t believe she did that, that’s really going to hurt”. And you sit and talk about how bad they’re doing, like, oh my gosh, I can’t believe he fell after doing that triple, that’s terrible. And then I start thinking, wait a second, I really can’t skate backward. And so it’s not really proper for me to be judgemental of these skaters. My wife has figure skates, but, I hope she doesn’t hear this, but she’s really terrible [laughs]. I like to skate with her because she’s about the only person I’m better than. I’m just happy that I don’t have to be out on the ice with a chair, pushing it in front of me.

Olivia Gibbons, novice pairs competitor: [My favorite event] has been all of them. I have a lot of friends in each event, so they’re all my favorite.

Chris Fernandes, novice men’s competitor: [Novice mens] was a very strong event this year. Everyone out there was doing all their triples, triple-triples, it was intense.

Tenley Albright, surgeon (and former world and Olympic champion): I was at the Cleveland Clinic today. The CEO has come to some of the meetings that I’ve been doing at MIT, as part of the initiatives at MIT where we get experts together on things like health care. And here we are in the midst of experts on skating, and it’s just so terrific to be here.

Peggy Northrup, fan:  I always like the ice dancing. I always like the novice event, to watch the little ones that are coming up. I was an ice dancer, so it’s always in my heart. And it’s really fun to come and see the compulsory dances, which you don’t get to see much any more.

Ryan Bradley, senior men’s competitor:  People used to actually relate me to Elvis when I was younger, but I never skated to Elvis. And they’d be like “Didn’t you skate to Elvis?” and I’d be like “No, I haven’t”. But then we just kind of thought it’s the right character, it’s the right time. So we just kind of put it together this year.

Mary, from the Cleveland Clinic: We’re here to show our support for these athletes, this city, and our commitment to all the attendees. We’re here to raise awareness of our group of our sports medicine physicians, who provide top-notch care and expertise in taking care of athletes.

Jeremy Abbott, senior men’s competitor:  Tom Dickson is an amazing choreographer and his wife Catarina Lindgren did both of my programs this year. They’re absolutely incredible choreographers. I’ve always kind of been drawn to ice skating as a competitive sport, and it’s through their choreography that [the creativity] has really come out of me. I feel what they give me and I feel the music, and it’s through them that I’m able to produce what I’ve done.

Kim Sailer, podcast guest host: It was a very exciting time being there, with three new national champions crowned. There was a lot of energy in the building, and there’s so many people you bump into and meet. There were so many other people that we didn’t have time to interview. But we had a great time and I would encourage anyone who can go to go see one of these events live.

About the Author
Yup, I’m a skating fan. But I’m a skater too. I compete nearly every year in the U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships, and am always thrilled to see my other skating buddies there. In my real life I work in marketing for brands that make positive changes in the world, and a mom of two rambunctious boys.

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