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Cathy Reed's Japan Open athlete diary

Japanese ice dancer provides wrap-up from team scoring event

Cathy Reed and Chris Reed performed their new exhibition program in Saitama.
Cathy Reed and Chris Reed performed their new exhibition program in Saitama. (courtesy of Cathy Reed)

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By Cathy Reed, special to icenetwork.com
(10/01/2011) - Japanese ice dancer Cathy Reed checks in with icenetwork.com from the 2011 Japan Open in Saitama.

The 2011 Japan Open, at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, opened up another season of great skating. The huge arena was filled with people who were all excited to witness the debut of new programs from both amateur and professional skaters.

The Japan Open is a fun, pro-am team competition and provides a great opportunity for amateur skaters to debut their new programs for the new season before the Grand Prix Series ... and it is also a great challenge for professional skaters to kick their butt and get back into amateur competition!

The event is comprised of three teams -- North America, Europe and Japan -- each with four skaters, two of them male and two of them female. They all compete their free skates, and the four skaters' point totals are added up, resulting in a team score. This year, Team North America won with 518.64 points, Team Europe finished second with 517.94 points, and Team Japan came in third with 479.57 points. It was a very exciting event!

Chris and I were guest skaters for the Japan Open, since our sponsor is Kinoshita Group, the sponsor for this event. This is our second year doing the Japan Open and Carnival On Ice, and we enjoy it very much! It's a great opportunity for us to introduce and skate our new programs. We performed our new exhibition program after the first half of the competition, and Shizuka Arakawa and Yuzuru Hanyu skated their exhibition numbers as well.

Yuka Sato choreographed two numbers for the Carnival On Ice show, a fun opening to "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO and then a beautiful finale to the overture from the movie The Notebook commemorating the victims of the Japanese earthquake. Chris and I performed our new Latin short dance in the show, and the audience received it very well. The Japanese audience has never seen us dance Latin before! We skated very well, thrived off the audience's enthusiasm and had a great time.

There was a lot of great skating today and by the looks of it, this season is going to be very exciting. The 2011-12 season has finally begun, and I wish everyone the best of luck!

- Cathy Reed