Aleksei's anecdotes: U.S. skater blogs from JGPTexas-based competitor shares adventures from Ljubljana, Slovenia
Aleksei Krasnozhon is a two-time U.S. junior medalist who is competing at the Junior Grand Prix in Ljubljana, Slovenia, this week. He is keeping a blog for icenetwork.
Friday, Sept. 23
I woke up today feeling really tired, so I had a little extra coffee at breakfast. My practice went well. Almost everyone in my warmup was extremely tired, too; we all understood that the free skate would be a big fight.
I took a nice, long nap, and then I walked to the rink. After the six minute warmup, I had a lot of time to relax before I had to skate my actual program. I waited for about 30 minutes, and when I got on the ice, I felt tired. But I told myself that I will fight and won't give up, no matter what.
I skated the best program I could have skated at that moment in time. I was so happy I won, and I was so happy I became the first person in the world to do a quad loop in competition. My teammate, William [Hubbart], did really well and finished in the top 10 in his JGP debut...something to be proud of!
Thursday, Sept. 22
Today was the day of the short program. I was super excited to compete. I did one of the best shorts of my career, but my GOEs (Grades of Execution) could have been better. I was extremely happy to be sitting in second place after the short program.
Slovenia is the fourth JGP of my career. At each of the past three, I drew last for the long program...and, of course, I drew last again here. Four JGPs in a row skating last -- I guess I'm used to it.
Now It's time to head back to the hotel to get some rest before the long program. Good night, everyone!
Wednesday, Sept. 21
Today was a practice day for everyone, as well as draws for all of the teams. Just as the day before, our practice was delayed due to a broken Zamboni. Despite that, William [Hubbart] and I had a great practice, doing our full long program run-throughs. After practice, we went to the draw, where I drew 15th and William drew sixth. We were both really happy with our starting positions.
Later, me and my coach, Darlene [Cain], went for lunch, where we sat outdoors under an umbrella. When we finished, we decided to go for a walk (since I only had one practice, it was good to get a little workout). While walking, we saw an old castle surrounded by a beautiful garden. Walking in Europe is always amazing -- everything around you is so beautiful. I'm so impressed with how clean the streets are; I haven't seen any garbage, which is amazing.
Since we still didn't have our luggage, we needed to go buy clothes for the next day. At the mall, I got a really nice jacket and pair of pants.
Tomorrow, I compete. I am very excited!
Tuesday, Sept. 20
After a short practice at the rink with my teammates, we all left for the airport. Our flight was delayed for 45 minutes, which was almost as long as the flight itself. Our flight from Houston to Amsterdam was delayed as well.
After 9 1/2 hours in the air, we finally reached Amsterdam. As as soon as we got off the plane, we started running. Our connection time was only 40 minutes, and we still had to stand in a huge line to go through customs. We reached our gate just in time, only to sit on the tarmac for another 40 minutes. Our third flight in a row, delayed -- it wasn't even funny anymore.
The flight to Ljubljana went quite well...until the moment our bags didn't come out. Because of all the delays, our bags got lost. Now, if everything goes right, we will get our bags by Wednesday night.
Realizing we had no clothes for tomorrow (I did have my skates, music and costumes), my coach and I decided to go shopping. We went to a big mall, hit the sports store and bought some nice stuff.
Once I got back to hotel, I put on some fresh clothes and went to a nice dinner with my teammates, Ashley Lin and William Hubbart.
Now, I'm headed to bed to prepare for tomorrow. Tomorrow is everyone's official practice day, and I hope it goes well. Good night, everyone!