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August 18, 2007

Hey everybody!

A lot has gone on since the last time I wrote.

I'll start from where I left off in my last journal.

I have become much more familiar with my New Jersey surroundings. I still can’t believe that for the first four months I started training in Hackensack my Mom and I drove back and forth five days a week. Our house is 130 miles away. Some days it took as short as two hours and then there were the days of snow and traffic that the trip took as long as five hours to get to the rink. I stay in New Jersey most of the time now so that long drives are no longer a part of my training.

Skating at the Ice House with Nikolai has given me the opportunity to do a lot of fun things. One of the things that I've gotten to do was the Adult Skating Camp. I had never worked with anyone as a coach before, so I was a little bit nervous and really just didn't know what to expect. So my first day of "coaching" was all about toe jumps. At first, I felt really awkward. I wasn’t sure how to give constructive criticism, but I wanted to help. The adult skaters made it very easy for me. I quickly warmed up to them and they were open to asking me questions. Everyone that I worked with was so nice. I tried to give 100% to all of my classes, until my very last one, where I goofed off a little with Elene Gedevanishvili. I just couldn’t help it! It was a very long, but rewarding two days. The adult skaters that showed up for the camp all had so much passion for skating. It was great just to be around them. I hope that I get the chance to do it again next year.

Another event that I got to do was Miki’s show, "The Ice House Presents: Miki Ando and Friends". When I found out I was invited to do it, I was really excited. But, when we found out Daisuke wasn’t able to do it, we joked that he wasn’t Miki’s friend! As I found out more about the show, I realized that it was a really big deal. Shizuka Arakawa was coming to Hackensack just to commentate. This meant TWO camera crews; one for Miki, one for Shizuka. The week of the show was so intense! The camera crew was there for 2 days dedicated to Daisuke, a one day break (4th of July), and 3 days including the show, dedicated to Miki.

The day of the show was really fun although the practices before the show were a little stressful. We learned the opening and closing group numbers the morning of the show. The cast was great. We did get a couple breaks, one which Elene and I tried to do side-by-side triple toes. While our toes were fine, we just couldn’t get our crossovers to match and we started to fight over whose fault it was. (It was her fault). When our practices were over, Elene, Miki and I got something to eat and then we prepared for the autograph signing at the meet and greet. So many people showed up, most of who were there just for Miki. It was really fun.

I skated well. I did my short program for the first time and had a little trouble, first with my triple loop, that I popped because I stared straight into the spot light (I didn’t know you couldn’t do that!). Second with my pants, the snap that hooks under my boot and keeps my pants leg down unsnapped. Everyone in the audience was holding their breath waiting for me to trip. Actually, I was holding my breath too, waiting to see if I would trip. But luckily I didn’t! I had a second number as well, my exhibition program from last year that I choreographed. Nikolai cleaned it up for the show. His help made a big improvement and it went over really well. Overall the whole show was an awesome experience.

After the show and the camp I went back to training for my first competition, Liberty. I got new costumes and "new hair” that was cut and straightened, (Nikolai's idea). I felt ready because of the training I had done all summer. My short program went well. I did all the jumps and was on my way to skating a clean short, until I tripped in my footwork. Otherwise, Nikolai and I were happy with how I had skated. The long program went well too. I skated cleanly, and people came up to me and told me that I had gotten much better from last year. It made me feel really good. I ended up pulling up from second after the short, to first in the long and overall. It was great to win Liberty. I was happy with how I had skated and how I had improved, but I know that I can do much better. It is only the beginning of the season! The only problem I had at Liberty was with the final round. I didn’t get to skate. I was having some boot problems all week and I had to withdraw. The seam in the back of my boot had torn down about an inch and a half. All in all, it was a good opening for the competitive season.

My next competition is the Moran Memorial next weekend. I skate my short on Friday night. Then I am off to Romania the first week of September for the Junior Grand Prix.

Well, that’s everything that has been going on in my skating life. When something new comes up, I’ll be sure to tell.

Thank you everyone for reading and for your support,

Adam Rippon

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