Boardwalk Blog (#4)

by Michelle Wojdyla, Special to U.S. Figure Skating Online
Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder in the mixed zone.

(10/21/05) - Thursday, 6:15pm
In the mixed zone (where reporters are able to speak with the skaters after they finish) Tanith Belbin was asked where she was cut during her fall in Oberstdorf that made her and Ben leave the ice during their free dance to seek medical attention. Tanith hesitated and then explained that she couldn't show exactly where.

The cut was on her upper inner thigh. I don't blame her for her modesty on sharing that.

Speaking of “revealing” at Oberstdorf, Ben Agosto showed true sportsmanship when he loaned his clothes to a competitor who had luggage issues. Asked to compare the German competition earlier this month to tonight, Ben quipped: “It was nice to be able to keep my own pants on. In the rink, that is.”

Susie Wynne walked past the mixed zone and jokingly offered to answer any questions we might have. Silly, silly Susie. Of course we have questions for you. You taught Terry Gannon how to recognize twizzles and are always fun to talk to. Susie was telling us about ABC's new expanded broadcast team, with the additions of Kurt Browning for men's coverage and Katarina Witt for rinkside reporting. She also explained that many of the older compulsory dances were actually choreographed on an extremely narrow rink in England that was primarily used for recreational skating. Learn something new every day.

Thursday, no wait, Friday 12:07 a.m.
Three down, six to go.

Yay me (as my sister would say) for calling the top two men from practice today (see earlier blog). Going to practices can be cold but is rarely boring.

With back to back to almost back competitions, it's pretty crazy to turn everything around quickly. I'm off photo duty now that the inimitable Michelle and Paul Harvath are here to provide you with awesome action shots (and Paul just gave me a Reese's peanut butter cup, so I must say he rocks). It's a juggling act for writers to watch the competition, get quotes and write it all up in the 20 minutes before the next event begins. Writers have their own angles depending on who their audience is. For me here, I must get all the U.S. skaters, plus top three or four, and any other exceptionally newsworthy moments. Of course without knowing who those top skaters will be, this makes it challenging. No one wants to have the major “oops” moment when they realize they just skipped the skater in second. With Marcy Hinzmann & Aaron Parchem and Rena Inoue & John Baldwin comprising two of the top three after the pairs short, my job was made just that much easier. No, it's not all about me, but is it wrong to be happy? I think not.

I don't always write “top-down” with news stories. Sometimes I start in the middle and add the lead later. The end frequently is determined by time. I don't mean to slight the lower-placing Americans, but once that trumpet music plays in the arena, I know it's time to wrap it up and move onto the next event.

I'm getting ready to head back to the hotel, so I'll wrap up for now. It's been almost three hours since I've seen FrankEnKen.