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Le Cru du Jour: 'We're not going to let sadness win'

Despite heavy hearts, skaters make most of beautiful day in Bordeaux
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Vanessa James and Morgan Ciprès (center), and Maé Bérénice Méité (right) took time to sign autographs for fans following the announcement that the second day of competition at 2015 Trophée Eric Bompard was canceled. -Getty Images

This first day of 2015 Trophée Eric Bompard in Bordeaux, France, was so nice. And surely, it would have been even nicer Saturday. History decided otherwise.

Saturday's decision to cancel the remainder of the competition in the wake of Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris marked the first time in the history of the Grand Prix Series that an event was cancelled before completition.

Skaters, coaches, officials, fans and journalists all expressed sadness and disbelief. Everyone also realized that attempting to go on living life like normal was the wisest way to proceed.

They all had their own activities during the day.

No one could access the rink after 2 p.m., and many fans waited around in the hopes of seeing their favorite skaters or teams. French skaters MaéBérénice Méité, and Vanessa James and Morgan Ciprès stayed a long time in front of the rink to sign autographs and take pictures. Even though hearts felt heavy at times, human fraternity prevailed.

The weather was beautiful over Bordeaux through the afternoon.

"We're going to try to take advantage of it. We'll go to the tourist office. We're not going to let sadness win," Julianne Séguin (who ended up in third place after the pairs short program with partner Charlie Bilodeau) decided, along with Marie-France Dubreuil and Romain Haguenauer (Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue's coaches).

The team leaders of Russia, Canada and the United States spent the afternoon trying to arrange earlier flights back home. The French team left later in the afternoon to head back to Paris by train.

In the lobby of the skaters' hotel, Julia Lipnitskaia was trying to organize the transfer of a huge fluffed panda bear she received from her fans after her beautiful performance in the short program.

That could have been in tomorrow's Cru du Jour. Do you know what a coach is most useful for? Julia had to rush to the kiss and cry after her short program, all while receiving that huge bear, then a beautiful flower bouquet, postcards and all kinds of gifts along the way. Fortunately, her coach, Sergei Dudakov, was on hand to carry the panda to the elevator, the kiss and cry and back.

Well, Lipnitskaia's giant panda has to fly back to Moscow somehow. Julia's fans were gracious enough to offer to bring it back for her. Julia's panda bear is so big it will require its own seat. It should make for an interesting experience at the airport.

Although it felt good to be together, the lobby of the hotel emptied in a matter of minutes (apart from the team leaders, who were still walking back and fourth on their phones trying to reschedule their flights).

In front of the hotel, several officials were speculating about the International Skating Union's decision to cancel the remainder of the competition and the effect it would have on selecting who goes to the Grand Prix Final.

"Basing the selection upon the placement of the short program would be unfair to several skaters," one argued.

"Why not open the event for more skaters to participate this year, based on the result they got in another Grand Prix? Why not have eight skaters per category instead of six?" proposed another.

Many skaters explored the city of Bordeaux during the sunny afternoon. The city center, the cathedral and the river are all in walking distance of the hotel.

Several wandered through the beautiful streets of the city, among the historic monuments and stone buildings of the center. The city was breathing as peacefully as normal on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. The pedestrian center streets, with their small shops, were packed with people, just like normal. Couples were wandering along the bank of the Garonne River, in that part where the view of the architecture is so striking.

At dusk, Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier came back to the hotel having done loads of shopping. Gracie Gold followed them with a big bag as well.

"I liked it; it's a nice city," Max Aaron said.

Aaron won't be returning to the U.S. just yet, as he will be competing in Tallinn, Estonia, next week.

The sunset was gorgeous, bringing red and purple clouds to the commencing darkness on the horizon. Team USA organized a team dinner following another meeting.

Skating will continue, which is for the better. Two more Grand Prix events are to follow to select those who will go to Barcelona for the Grand Prix Final.

2015 Trophée Eric Bompard would have crowned beautiful champions.

Team USA team leader Deveny Deck said, "That's what we need to remember: those smiles skaters had Friday night, and the high-quality performances they delivered."