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Memories From the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships in Los Angeles


2009 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Los Angeles

2009 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Los Angeles - March 22, 2009 - March 29, 2009

Photo by Kathie Fry, SkateLog.com

Worlds Was in Los Angeles, USA:

The 2009 ISU World Figure Skating Championships was held in Los Angeles, California, USA from March 22 through March 29, 2009. About.com's Figure Skating Guide, JO ANN Schneider Farris, and her family attended. In this article, she shares some of her experiences and memories from the event.

No Media Accreditation for About.com at the World Figure Skating Championships:

Although About.com is a New York Times Company, the ISU and U.S. Figure Skating did not award About.com's Figure Skating Guide, Jo Ann Schneider Farris, with a media pass. The reason given was that there were not enough seats for some web media, and that included About.com. Jo Ann decided to not let that stop her from attending. She bought advance tickets in late February, and decided to enjoy the event with her family and friends.

Monday, March 23, 2009 - Practice Ice:

In the "old days" watching competitors practice was included with competition admission, but at the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships, practice ice admission was only for all-event ticket holders; however, in mid-March 2009, Jo Ann was notified that tickets for some practice ice sessions were being made available to those who had purchased mini or group packages to Worlds, so she bought tickets for her entire family for one full day of practices.

On Monday, March 23, the Schneider-Farris family spent the day at Staples Center seeing the best men, ladies, ice dancers, and pair skaters in the world practice.

Tuesday, 3/24/09 - Compulsory Dance, Opening Ceremonies, and Pairs Short Program:

Jo Ann did not think her children could sit through four hours of the compulsory ice dance event, since each ice dance team was going to perform the same exact steps and dance, so she watched the thirty performances of the Paso Doble compulsory dance on her own. US ice dancers, Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto, did an excellent job, and ended up in second place.

Later that evening, the entire family enjoyed the Opening Ceremonies and the pairs short program event. The German pair skaters, Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, dazzled the audience and won the pairs short program.

Famous People Wandering Around Worlds 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - Watching the Pairs Freeskate in a Private Suite:

Wednesday night was the pairs freeskate. The Schneider-Farris family and friends watched that event in style in a private suite. They watched Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett of the United States skate a flawless program. They cheered for U.S. pair skating champions Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker, but were sad that they didn't skate their best. They watched the Chinese pairs, and saw the Russian girl (who is really Japanese) fall on her face after she fell on the quad throw Salchow.

Thursday, March 26, 2009 - Original Dance and Men's Freeskate:

Thursday was a long day, since Jo Ann and her family spent the afternoon watching the Original Dance event. Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto skated to "Stepping Out" and won that phase of the competition, but remained in second place.

In the evening, Jo Ann sat with friends, including 1986 World Figure Skating Champion, Debi Thomas. She cheered with the crowd as she saw Evan Lysacek of the U.S. skate to Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," and land eight triple jumps. Lysacek won the world figure skating title.

More Famous Ice Skaters at the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships:

As the week progressed, Jo Ann and her family saw more famous faces at Worlds. In fact, Jo Ann skated and trained with many "names in figure skating" when she was a child. She reunited with pair skating champions JoJo Starbuck and Ken Shelley. Some of her childhood skating friends she saw at the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships included ice skating legends Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner, men's skating champion Terry Kubicka, world ladies figure skating champion and Olympic Silver Medalist Dianne DeLeeuw, and world men's figure skating champion Charlie Tickner.

Friday, March 27, 2009 - Ladies Short Program and Free Dance:

Since sixty ladies competed, the ladies short program took all day. The Schneider-Farris family watched lady and after lady compete.

In the evening, the family gathered together once again to see the excitement of the free dance, the final phase of the ice dance event. The Russian ice dancers, Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin, won the event. Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto of the US, finished close behind in second, and Canadian ice dancers, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir ended up in third. U.S. skaters Meryl Davis and Charlie White finished in fourth, but were only four-hundredths of a point behind Virtue and Moir.

Saturday, March 28, 2009 - The Ladies Freeskate, The Premier Event:

The ladies freeskate took place in the late afternoon and early evening on Saturday March 28. The Staples Center was packed. Almost every seat in the arena was taken.

The favorite to win was Korea's Kim Yu-Na, who was already in first place after the short program. Kim scored 207.71 points. Canada's Joannie Rochette placed 2nd overall, and Japan's Miki Ando came in 3rd. 2008 world figure skating champion, Mao Asada, landed a triple Axel and finished in 4th place. Everyone in the U.S. was delighted with Rachael Flatt's 5th place finish.

After the competition, Korean skating fans were lined up for hours to get a glimpse of World Champion Kim Yu-Na exit the arena.

Exhibition of Champions - Sunday, March 29, 2009:

After a week of seeing skating, skating, and more skating, you'd think the Schneider-Farris family would have had enough, but Jo Ann and her family and friends returned to Staples Center for more. The arena was again packed to capacity.

The audience got to see the best skaters from the 2009 ISU World Figure Skating Championships perform. Some of cast included:

After Competition Thoughts and Reflections:

After the exhibition ended, the Schneider-Farris family took some time to buy souvenirs. Then, they went out to dinner in Los Angeles with some skating friends, including Kathie Fry, who linked up with Jo Ann at Worlds. (Kathie Fry was About.com's Guide to Inline Skating for over five years.)

It had been an exciting week. New champions were crowned in three of the four events. People who loved figure skating came together from all over the world. Ice skating fans began to look forward to the 2010 Winter Olympics.

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