The skating has just ended in Jeonju, Korea and what springs to mind is all that has happened over the last 4 days. Not only on the ice, but the stuff that goes on behind the scenes. I went to Jeonju for the 4 Continents Championship in 2002 and have a very clear picture in my head of the rink and the surrounding area. I remember well that it was an area known for paper products and that there is in fact a paper museum. I also remember getting into a cab with three Canadian men and I won’t mention names exactly but one rhymes with “dead fart on”. In any event, we wanted to go to the paper district (turns out it was behind the hotel) and in their desire to please; everyone from the doorman on down kept saying “yes” to all of our questions leading us to believe that there was a level of understanding that didn’t exist. It took $10 and a half hour cab ride across the (beautiful) countryside to get dropped back at our hotel and to have an English speaking person direct us around the corner for what we wanted.

The Four Continents Championships never ceases to provide me with moments of pure skating bliss from skaters I hadn’t previously really known. I saw Zhang and Zhang for the first time at a 4Cs. Jeff Buttle won his title in Jeonju and I can still recall his La Strada program and the squealing Korean girls who all developed crushes on him based on his warmth and easy smile. Yu-Na Kim I first saw in exhibition as a very young girl either the first or second time I came here and the writing was on the wall even then.

These 4Cs will be forever locked in my brain on a couple of different fronts: the look of joy on Kevin Reynolds’ face after the short program and the look on Adam Rippon’s after the free – both men amazing competitors and worthy champions. I love seeing the new talent and wondering what the future will hold for them.

The other memory for me is from the contact I am getting to have with skating fans (like me). When I first started doing “live feed commentary” it was just about the skaters with nothing going on in the floods or during the warm ups. It was a necessity but certainly not anything that anyone thought had potential. Or so I thought. Over this last season, the coolest thing yet is that TV now goes both ways and I love it. The interactivity that is now possible thanks to technology means that we are truly sharing the experience as opposed to just being told about it. For me, the chat, the email, the twittering and the online forum experience has added a new and exciting dimension to my job and I am grateful for it. I get to hear from parents, skaters, fans, colleagues DURING the event. How cool is that? Almost as good as sitting in the stands watching skating with friends.

Lots of emails to answer this time and I am looking forward to getting to all of them!

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