The day we found out our order of skating we were out to lunch with the South Australian girls. The Show Group time slot for official practice was from about 7am to 10am and each team had 15 minutes and would train in the same order as we compete. So we didn’t really want to draw too early because that would make our Saturday a very long one as we would have training in the morning, competition in the afternoon, followed by the Grand Gala and the Closing Ceremony in the night. However the skating order draw gods gave us a firm middle finger as we drew third. Not as rough as drawing first, but meh, it meant we had to be at training pretty darn early.
When my alarm went off at 4:30 am I wanted to cry, but today was the day, the whole reason we had traveled for 48 hours. Game day. We had an early breakfast and got our taxis down to the venue.
We’d spent nearly a week sitting up in the stands, looking down at the venue from up high, peering down on the competitors rolling around in the warm up area and now here we were, looking up. It was quite bizarre being on the other side, seeing the whole place from a new perspective.
We suited up in our gorgeous Australian Leotards, everyone looking fab, and pushed our way through Argentinians and Italians to get our time in the sun (literally, dude the glare from the sun that morning was brutal).
We had fifteen minutes and we knew exactly what we needed to do to milk every second. We skated our positions, then skated our key section of the routine before doing a complete run through. After a week of skating on the awful plastic floor of the training venue, to finally get on the glorious, smooth concrete surface of the official venue was something divine. We skated our routine strongly and cleanly and we were really happy with how we did. Over the course of the week, things had begun to fall into place at the last minute. Parts were tightened up, arms were matching better, facial expressions were improving. This would be the second last time we would hear Fatboy Slim’s “Right Here, Right Now” and know we had an exhausting five minutes of skating ahead of us.
We felt great after our official practice; we were hot and sweaty, but everyone was in good spirits and ready for the real thing. We popped back home and started the clock, we had about four hours to get everyone’s hair and makeup perfect.
Evie was in charge of hair and I was in charge of makeup, and neither of us had gotten a chance during our busy week to trial anything on anyone despite saying several times that we would. Evie settled on a beehive, and I decided to recreate Twiggy’s look, we recruited another skater from outside of our team, Sarah and we were good to go (our routine was a 60’s theme if you couldn’t tell from that description).
We all met in my room and I got started on my own makeup, praying to God that I wouldn’t stuff up and end up with black eyeliner smeared all over my face. Four hours and one Subway run later and we had eight skaters fully hair’d and make-up’d.
After one last review of our official practice footage, it was time to head back to the venue. It was show time.
The roll-around, warm up area was busy at the best of times, but during the team events it was pandemonium. Fourteen teams, all with eight to twelve skaters each, all decked out in crazy outfits, it was like some kind of even more bizarre circus. Before we skated, I didn’t even feel nervous. I was just pumped to get out there. This was going to most likely be our last hurrah as team Platinum. Four years of Platinum, two for me, coming to an end and I was just ready to get out there and put on a show.
Competing at World’s is like having an out of body experience. I’ve only done it twice and after both times, I had little memory of actually doing it. I remember having the best time and I remember being happy with how I skated, but everything in between was a blur. Standing there in position, waiting for the music to start and counting in the first movement and it was like I just left my body and didn’t return to it until I was back in the marshaling area awaiting our scores. I didn’t hear anything other than our music. I didn’t see any individual faces except my team members. I didn’t think about anything except what I was doing.
We were very happy with our skate. We did the best we could on the day, and we told our story. When it was all over, we could finally relax and enjoy watching the other teams compete. After our even was the Large Show Group event and following that was the Grand Gala, where the medal winners of the week had a chance to skate again and entertain the crowd. The Grand Gala was great except for the fact that I hadn’t eaten since 3pm and by this point was absolutely starving.
When the Grand Gala ended, it was time for the Closing Ceremony which consisted of a bunch of speeches in Spanish and a lot of selfie-taking. It had been a huge week and everything for the last year had built up to that day and when it was over we were all exhausted.
Evie was pretty keen to go out after. The Italians were hosting a little celebration in a conference room at the hotel and I said I might make an appearance, but the second my body hit the bed once we got back to our rooms that night at 11pm, I knew there was no way I was going out. So my roommates and I had a quiet night in and got the sleep we so desperately needed after the crazy week we had just had.