Shaun Rogers keeps us up-to-date on all the behind-the-scenes action from the Finlandia Trophy in Vantaa, Finland." />

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Shaun Rogers' Finlandia Trophy diary

Value meals not such a deal in Vantaa

Rogers and his girlfriend, Lauren.
Rogers and his girlfriend, Lauren. (courtesy of Shaun Rogers)

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By by Shaun Rogers, special to icenetwork.com
(10/09/2008) - This week, Shaun Rogers keeps us up-to-date on all the behind-the-scenes action from the Finlandia Trophy in Vantaa, Finland.

Friday and Saturday

Hello! I figured I'd just write one blog for both my events since the scheduling didn't really allow a lot of time to do stuff in between!

Overall my competition went well, with me finishing second. I made some sloppy mistakes but I rotated everything in my program and only had one fall -- on my quad. I know I'm capable of more but that's why I'll work to improve on this performance at sectionals and nationals.

I also have to tell you about one of the waiters at the hotel restaurant. If I remember correctly, he's Bulgarian, and he is by far the funniest person I've seen on the trip. He's got a really dry sense of humor and has been cracking most of us up every night during dinner.

For example, my girlfriend ordered a salad at dinner the other night and it had these small bread flakes on the top that kind of looked like bacon bits. She asked him if it was bacon and he looked at her like she had two heads and said, "No, there is no meat.... it is a SALAD."

So tomorrow the ladies have their long program. Everyone send good vibes to Karen [Zhou] and Danielle [Kahle]! After their all done we are going into Helsinki for a team dinner and to explore. Lauren tried to go today but the weather didn't cooperate.. She still got a few good pictures though.

Thursday

Hello from Finland!

I got here early Wednesday morning with my coach, Pam Gregory, and my girlfriend, Lauren. It is not nearly as cold here as I thought it would be [besides the practice rink, which has to be sub-zero]. For a big city, it's extremely clean and very beautiful in Vantaa.

So, since there was nothing to do on Wednesday, Lauren and I got to do a little bit of exploring. We walked down to the local shopping mall that's right down the street from our hotel, called Jumbo. It had a supermarket with a ton of little stores in it -- it even had a H&M and a GameStop. We had lunch at what was basically the Finnish version of TGI Fridays, called Chico's. They also have their own version of McDonald's here, named Hesburger. And one of the first things you notice is that food is a lot more expensive here than at home. Our lunch at Chico's was 32 Euros [almost $50] for a large Caesar salad, a grilled chicken dish and a desert that we shared. Also, a "value meal" at the Hesburger comes out to almost $10.

Clothing and other things, for the most part, are about the same price... except for Converse sneakers. I don't know why, but the Converse hightops that we have in the States for around $35 were priced at over 100 Euros in one of the stores we went in. All the clothes that were imported from the U.S. tended to be little more expensive, but I had to double take at that.

Anyways, about why I actually flew all the way out here! I had my first practice today. The arena is really nice, but practice today was in the practice rink, which is COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD. I had two jackets on for awhile and wore my lighter jacket for almost the whole practice. We also had the draw tonight, and Danielle [Kahle] and I drew pretty good numbers, but Karen [Zhou] pulled a one. Our shorts are tomorrow evening, so you'll get the lowdown on how those go tomorrow night!

Lauren is also making a sightseeing/shopping trip to Helsinki in the afternoon while everyone is at practice, so we'll see if she gets herself into trouble! That's all for now!
Shaun