Day Two ~ Rouen France

France 2

The day started out with all the girls having breakfast at the hotel.  The hotel staff makes us feel genuinely welcome and are very accommodating.  At the end of breakfast, the staff asked if our girls wanted anything else.  We said the croissants were especially good and the girls would like to have another.  Well, I guess they were all out because we saw one of the staff leave the hotel and 3 minutes later, return with a bag full of warm croissants.  If we knew they had to go buy more for us, we wouldn’t have asked.  The staff said it was “their pleasure”.

We then started getting ready for our practice at the rink.  The bus arrived and off to the rink we went. We had two 30-minute practices.  During the first practice we worked on long and during the second practice we worked on short.  The girls were awesome during both practices.  We received praises from the USFS delegation which made us feel really good.  The girls are feeling very confident.

We had pre-purchased lunch at the rink through the LOC.  Well, we thought it would be at the rink.  It was actually at a children’s rec center down the street.  So, we then walked to what we thought was the children’s rec center.  But instead, we were knocking on the front door of a pre-school.  The workers inside were definitely surprised to see 20 young ladies in Team USA clothing knocking on their door.  They had no idea what we were talking about when we said we were there for lunch. We eventually found the rec center for lunch.

When we arrived back at the hotel, we found ourselves with 3 free hours.  So the girls had an opportunity to explore Rouen.  Our hotel is in a perfect location… we are basically in the middle of an outdoor mall with tons of little shops.  The girls enjoyed an afternoon of shopping.

Three hours later, it was time to participate in the skater parade. When we arrived at the meeting area, there were hundreds of athletes lining up behind their respective flags.  We found the American flag holder and lined up with Hayden, Skyliners and Braemar. A drum line led the parade as we walked through downtown Rouen.  What an exciting experience.  The girls were chanting “USA” as they danced and paraded down the road.  Everyone had their cameras out videoing.  It felt as if we were walking in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.  People would come out of the stores to watch.  If they were walking, they would stop to watch.  And those who lived along the streets would come out onto their balconies to watch.
It was quite a celebration.  And then at the end of the parade, all the athletes gathered and perform a flash mob dance.

Start of the parade   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddjQ9lIQbAw
Some excitement on the streets of Rouen   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xhY6qdaVb4
Chanting USA  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAW9_xzHQvs
Team USA dancing to the beat of the drum line  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8u3k5d0DReQ
And finally the flash mob.  Our girls are in there somewhere.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8MGx6qbrQ4

After the parade, Kathi and two of the skaters went to the official draw while the rest of the team went ahead to dinner at Pizza Pi.  The draw skaters eventually met up with the team at the restaurant indicating that we had drawn 11th for the short program.  Definitely a good starting spot as we will be in the last group.

After dinner, it was back to the hotel. What a fun filled day. Tomorrow, it will be back to business starting with an official practice followed by a 10:20pm performance.  It will be a long, but exciting day.
Talk to you tomorrow.
John

 

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