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Seeing The World (7/29/13)

Touring Monaco with "the moms," 2012

BY MERYL DAVIS

My mom and I pose in Nice, France after the 2012 World
Championships
Charlie and I explore the Great Wall of China with our moms after
competing in Beijing, 2010
"The Moms" in Red Square, 2008

While the crisp, cool air in the rink makes scarves a yearlong staple in my wardrobe, I’m quickly reminded that ‘tis not the season for scarves upon my daily departure from training. Whether it’s the recent heat-wave striking me like a bolt of lightning as I walk outside in my fleece and legwarmers, or the peculiar stares at my very winter-friendly wardrobe as I stop for a cup of coffee on my way home, I am reminded that it is indeed summer.

Still, the days on my iCalendar are clicking away and competition season isn’t as far-off as the weather might suggest. Looking ahead to our fall schedule, I find the week labeled “Japan” in November to be particularly exciting. Admittedly, I’ve always loved traveling abroad. Since well before Charlie and I began competing internationally, I’ve had a fascination with foreign language and culture. Now, as an anthropology major at the University of Michigan, I surround myself with fellow xenophiles.

While international travel, courtesy of skating, may not have initiated my anthropological fascination, it certainly did nothing to detour it. Since our first overseas venture to Austria in 2002, “the moms” (Charlie’s mom and mine) have made sure that our experiences abroad have not been limited to the inside of an ice rink, lovely as they may be.

In fact, quite often we’ve tacked on a few post-competition days of sightseeing. One of our most memorable excursions came after the 2006 World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Upon learning that Venice was a relatively short train-ride from Ljubljana, the four of us decided to visit the city that would be the catalyst for my Italian rapture. During our few-day jaunt to Venice, as has been the case with many of these visits, we took in the art, history, architecture and food of the city.

Whether we’re touring Japanese temples, walking the streets of Paris or waltzing through the snow in Red Square, Charlie and I have seen much of the world via international competition. Our gratitude for our continued experiences and personal growth through our skating is immeasurable. In particular, thanks in no small part to “the moms,” our ability to truly experience the cities and countries in which we skate has so impacted the course of our lives and our world perspectives.

Having said that, we are eagerly anticipating the start of our 2013-14 season in Salt Lake City, followed by Skate America in our hometown of Detroit! We hope everyone is as excited about the season as we are and wish everyone well as we all continue to enjoy the beauty of summer.