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Daniel O'Shea's journal from The Hague

U.S. novice champion checks in from the Netherlands

Daniel O'Shea burst onto the scene at the U.S. championships, and he's having fun in the Netherlands for the AEGON Challenge Cup.
Daniel O'Shea burst onto the scene at the U.S. championships, and he's having fun in the Netherlands for the AEGON Challenge Cup. (Paul Harvath)

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By Daniel O'Shea, special to icenetwork.com
(03/08/2008) - U.S. novice men's champion Daniel O'Shea wrote a diary from the AEGON Challenge Cup in The Hague, Netherlands. Read along to hear about his exciting week.

Thursday, March 6

Hello! This is Danny O'Shea from The Hague, Netherlands.

It has been a ton of fun so far. We all got here on Tuesday, and on Tuesday night we went out to eat for our team dinner at a very nice little local Italian restaurant. The food was amazing, and the people are all so nice. It is very nice, because almost all of the people here speak English, so we are able to communicate pretty well. After dinner, we came back to the hotel, had our team meeting, and then everyone went up to bed for some much needed rest after a long day of travel.

On Wednesday, we all had practice, so after a delicious breakfast in the hotel, we headed over to the rink. It is a very cool rink if I can say so myself, unlike any I have ever seen before. It has a rock climbing wall, go-carts, and a skiing hill, all indoors, along with two ice surfaces, and a speed skating track around one. It was a lot of fun meeting all kinds of skaters from all over the world, especially the local Dutch skaters. After our practices, we each had a draw for the short program. I drew sixth, and Drew Gonzales, the other junior man, drew seventh.

After skating, some of us went for a walk in the town. It was very nice, and everything in the bakeries looked very yummy. We all decided to go back after we compete. Then we had the opening ceremony, where the head of the International Skating Union spoke, and then we came back to the hotel for some dinner and bed.

Talk to you later.

- Danny

Saturday, March 8

Hello again!... Danny O'Shea here from The Hague.

So far this has been an amazing experience! Team USA has been doing amazing, and we will continue to do so in the next two days, I'm sure!

Everyone has been amazingly nice to us here too! One of the waiters at the hotel has been teaching us some Dutch, so now we know how to say thank you, good morning, and your welcome!

On Thursday, our skaters did well. David Wang skated a solid short program and finished second behind a Japanese boy in the novice men's group. Kaylyn Patitucci and Karl Edelmann, our junior ice dance team, skated twice on Thursday and were first after both the dances. Marissa Secundy skated very well in the novice ladies short program and finished first!

On Friday, we continued to skate awesomely. In the junior men's event, Drew Gonzales skated great and was first; I missed my flying sit and finished fifth after the short program. The junior ladies event went well as Brittney Rizo skated clean and was in first place. Amanda Dobbs missed a Salchow but looked very good overall and was third after the short. Then Marissa skated her long and was first again, taking first overall in the novice ladies. Later in the night, Becky Bereswill skated her short in the senior ladies competition and was second after the short.

It has been an amazing experience so far, and everyone seems to be having a lot of fun! I know I am making great new friends, as well as getting to see old ones, and I cant wait to get to see more of The Hague, the city.

More to come, but so far it's been so amazing!.

- Danny