First of all, our seats for the men's QR were fabulous! The arena was practically empty, so we sat wherever we wanted. We ended up in the 9th row just above where all the skaters came out. All the skaters literally had to walk under our feet to go in and out, so we got real close looks at all of them. It was so cool. :o)

While Takeshi Honda was waiting to go on the ice for his warm-up, I had my camera out and my aunt pointed at me, so he looked at me and gave me the cutest smile. Should be a great pic! I think I got a lot of good shots today - used up 5 more rolls!

I just love walking around the arena during practices and events and scanning for skaters! I got my picture today with Julia Sebestyen, Diana Poth (who were both in the stands near us watching the men), Alisa Drei (she was EVERYWHERE), Tim Goebel, Michael Tylleson, and Todd Eldredge. Yes, Todd -he was sitting in the stands all by himself for the pairs' SP. So I went over and chatted with him a little. :o) Alexei Yagudin was also in the stands, so I hand-delivered the messages to him. I asked for a picture, but he said "maybe in two days, I'm pretty tired." It was funny, though - when we were back in our seats a few minutes later, we could see him reading the messages very intently - I say that's funny because there were a few messages in there that were from girls who, well, have a crush on him. :) I hope I get a chance to talk to him and ask him what he thought!

I missed mens' QR group B 'cause I was on a tour, but saw all of group A (which skated 2nd). So I don't know how Plushenko, Weiss, and Stojko skated, just that they finished 1-2-3 in that order. In group A, I thought Goebel was gipped at least one placement. He was awesome and he did land his quad salchow. I don't know how Vlascenko couldn't beaten him. Oh, well. Yags was perfect, although he didn't attempt the quad. Urmanov did well but had no 3-3 combos. Honda was great; his only mistake was 2-footing the quad. Tobel was very funny again and landed everything but for the first 3axel. A lot of the men, actually, did very nice jobs, I thought. Margus Hernits, who ended up 12th, deserved much better. Stefan Lindemann (finished 7th) was just thrilled - he landed both 3axels as well as another 3-3 combo (can't remember which). I like his music. If anyone wants to know ANY skater's music, email me and I'll tell you 'cause I have the media guide, which pretty much says everythiing you'd want to know about every skater. (One of the female pairs weighs 66 pounds - yikes!)

The opening ceremony was so neat - about 50-60 Finnish girls, ages 7-12 or so, came out and did a little routine. These weren't your average skaters, either- they all did axels, and at one point when they all were spinning, at leats 8 or 10 of them did Bielmanns. It was a really nice opening.

Pairs - if you're wondering what happened to the Hartsells, they both fell on the SBS 3toes and their spins were out of sync. I was so disappointed for them 'cause they had a perfect warm-up. Handy/Binnebose were clean (she just pitched forward on the throw 3sal but saved it) ,and were way undermarked, IMO. They were just thrilled when they were done. Good for them. They had beautiful purple costumes, by the way. Bereznaia/Sikharulidze were perfect. Didn't miss a thing. Shen/Zhao gave the judges a reason to put them 2nd when she actually put her hand down on the throw 3loop. Otherwise, they were magnificent as usual. Saurette/Fecteau were clean and VERY happy. Sargeant/Wirtz were also clean; he was funny in the Kiss n' Cry 'cause he made the camera zoom in on him so he could check out something on his chin. :) Oh, I didn't even recognize Schwarz/Mueller at first - her hair is longer now and his hair is dark brown. I didn't know it was them until they started their program!

I should mention that Hartwall Arena is just beatiful. It looks so new and modern, and it's clean; very cool. The "jumbotron" above the rink showed the skaters on TV as they were skating, and showed replays of the performances while the skaters were in the kiss n' cry.

Note from Kelly on 3-30-99: except for the ones of me with skaters, the pictures I took today will not turn out 'cause I had the camera on the wrong setting. All of my pictures from Tuesday night on should turn out.

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