Rachael and Tom learning how to curl. With Figure Skating Team Leader Lorrie Parker at practice.

Friday, February 26, 2010


What a great evening of ladies figure skating. I was so proud of Rachael and impressed with the high level of competition. Obviously, the downgraded triple flips cost Rachael a whole lot of points, but overall she had a great experience here. She is definitely learning that the podium is about faster, higher and stronger, in addition to poise.

There seems to be some confusion regarding personal bests so I thought I would clarify things. When Rachael scored over 200 points at nationals, that number becomes her new national personal best. Her score of 182.49 at the Olympic Games is now her new ISU personal best, which means her short program and long program scores were her highest of the season for any international event. The ISU does not count any skater's score from their own national championship because they assume there will be a certain amount of national bias in the score.

As her coach, I was pleased with little things in her performance like the combination spin being faster and receiving positive GOEs from every judge and her triple loop and triple lutz-double toe combination, which were both done with ease. Next week, it will be back to work for the World Championships which will be held in Torino, Italy, the site of the 2006 Olympic Games.

During the Olympics, I have been working out in the Olympic Village gym, which is like you would expect it to be: amazing! While there I observed Mark Johnson, the coach of the US women's silver medal hockey team (he played and scored two goals on the winning 1980 Men's hockey team in Lake Placid). He was already on the treadmill when I walked in and was still on the treadmill when I left about an hour later. I was speaking to some of the ladies from his team this morning (and congratulating them on their silver medal) and they told me he has completed 3 IRON MAN competitions. No wonder I felt like I was being lazy when I worked out the other day.

There is a place called the Olympic Village living room. It is an actual building that has any type of video game imaginable, a Vitamin water bar, a signature wall for the athletes, a living wall of plants and a stage where variouos bands perform. The music styles vary from day to day and have included jazz, soul, hip-hop, rock, alternative, etc. Most notably eighties band Devo hit the stage a few days ago.

Frank and I are off to do some sightseeing on this very rainy day in Vancouver.


  1. Tom, I am glad, as always, to read this blog and to know that you and Rachael are very positive about the performance. Actually, she was fantastic. Still, I find it difficult to come to terms with the two downgrades. I know you can’t say anything about them in your position, but hopefully, in the near future, I would like you to explain what was wrong with her flips, or what she should have done not to be downgraded. I think the viewers deserve some explanation. Anyway, please enjoy a journey on the rainy day. I love you both!

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