Madison Chock, with partner Evan Bates, is a 2014 Olympian and two-time world medalist in ice dance. Chock and Bates are blogging for TeamUSA.org as they go for their third straight world medal at the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships in Helsinki.
Sunday/Monday, March 26-27
Our adventure to worlds begins Sunday night, when we depart Detroit on the 10:38 p.m. flight to Amsterdam. Thanks to the travel gods, I was blessed with a whole row all to myself. Taking full advantage of this, I sprawled out and proceeded to sleep for the next eight hours. :)
With a quick layover in Amsterdam I refueled with a mocha and lemon-poppy seed muffin before the last leg of our flight to Helsinki. Two hours later we made it to Finland, welcomed by beautiful blue skies and some very gusty wind.
Our hotel, which has a very charming Scandinavian-boutique feel, looks out over Töölönlahti, also known as Toolo Bay. This looked like the perfect place for a walk later. I arrived to my room to find a cute note sitting on my bed courtesy of my best friend and roomie for the week, Ashley Wagner! After unpacking a few things, I head to registration with Evan, and then we ventured out for a walk to the grocery store and then to the park across the street from our hotel, catching the most beautiful sunset to end our travel day.
Tuesday, March 28
Feeling exhausted from a long travel day, I slept easily through the night, only waking up in time to catch breakfast. :)
The food here is great! And so is the company! One of the greatest things about worlds is that you get to see almost all of your friends that you haven’t seen in about a year. Needless to say there is a lot of catching up to do. Luckily for us, we had almost all day to enjoy reconnecting with our friends since our practice wasn’t until 8:45 in the evening.
Mid-afternoon we went to the gym. It felt great to get moving and give my body a good flush before we practiced in the evening. We grabbed some lunch after working out and then I decided to take a quick power nap before I needed to start getting ready for practice. Although, I found it to be a bit of a struggle waking up from that nap, I could feel the jet lag pulling at me, so I hit snooze and slept for 15 more minutes. :P hehe.
The bus ride to the rink was nice and quick. We had plenty of time to warm up and get a good feel for the arena. The ice felt great and we got all our first day jitters out. That was the only practice we will have in the main rink until we compete the short dance on Friday, so we really tried to soak it all in before we headed back to the hotel. I’m really excited to get back to that rink for the competition!
By the time we cooled down after practice and caught the bus back to the hotel, dinner was already closed. In need of a good meal, we ventured out with two of our coaches Rohene Ward and Greg Zuerlein, and a friend/training mate, Yura. After popping into a few restaurants, we quickly learned that the kitchens tend close pretty early around here. Finally we stumbled across a great restaurant (mainly because it was still open) called Stones. Maybe I was just super hungry and at that stage where literally anything will taste amazing, but everything I ordered was delicious. I ordered three small plates because I couldn’t just pick one main dish, everything sounded too good; the avocado salad, sweet potato wedges and organic meatballs were my items of choice. Feeling happily satiated we headed back to the hotel for bed, bringing another great day in Helsinki to a close.