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Maxwell, Traxler bid adieu to Vienna

Skaters have had a grand time in Austria

Wesley Campbell, Charlotte Maxwell and Nick Traxler hang out in Vienna.
Wesley Campbell, Charlotte Maxwell and Nick Traxler hang out in Vienna. (courtesy of Charlotte Maxwell)

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By Charlotte Maxwell and Nick Traxler, special to icenetwork.com
(10/19/2008) - Ice dancers Charlotte Maxwell and Nick Traxler are in Vienna, Austria, this week for the Karl Schäfer Memorial. They take icenetwork.com behind the scenes as they go about their work.

Sunday

Today we bid farewell to Vienna. It has been a week filled with many emotions, but we leave with great memories and new friends.

Everyone is really getting into this years original dance rhythms the 20s,30s and 40s. There are some great costumes. Pernelle Carron of France has a very couture flapper dress. Kamila Hajkova has a great skull cap. Lynn and Logan have costumes that really fit their music "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" perfectly . We especially love Lynn's hat. She has to get it sown into her hair each time they perform.

Charlotte and I skated our original dance well, but, we were still feeling a little tense. We stayed in fourth place while our teammates Lynn and Logan maintained their second place standing.

After original dance it was time to cheer on Wesley and Tommy.

Lynn had family members come from Thailand to see her and Logan compete. She said she hadn't seen them in ten years.

By Thursday, we all were feeling a little tired, but no time for rest it was free dance time. Charlotte drew last for us to skate. Last always seems great at the time, but as each team came back into the hallway, finished with their program. I was feeling a little jealous. We had been having a little bit a of a rough competition so far. Our ballet teacher (Ericka Dove) had sent me a text reminding us to skate from our heart. Finally it was our time to skate. The crowd started clapping along to our music "We Will Rock You" right from the beginning. It really helped us to relax and skate a great program. We finally felt like ourselves out there. Pierre was all smiles when we left the ice. It seemed like an eternity waiting for the marks, but as the marks flashed up we had moved up to third and won our first international medal.

The medal ceremony was directly after free dance. Boy, did our parents take a lot of pictures. especially my Mom. It was great to have our parents there to support us.

Friday we were able to do some site seeing before we went to watch Molly Oberstar skate her long program. Molly skated a great program and moved up from thirteenth in the short, to sixth overall. I thought she had the best choreographed program of the competition.

Friday night was the banquet. It was held at a restaurant that served Viennse cuisine. Char and I enjoyed spending time with our teammates, and making new friends with skaters from other countries. The organizers presented awards at the banquet. The top six skaters received trophies. Each trophy was a little different and unique. They were so big we had to take them apart to pack them.

Char and I had a wonderful experience at this competition. We Hope you enjoyed our diaries and were able to get an insight to our time in Vienna.
Love,
Char and Nick xoxo

Tuesday

Tuesday was the start of official practice ice and for us dancers. The shuttle bus service also started today, so, we took the bus to the rink. We finally got to see some of Vienna in day light. It was interesting looking around at the homes and shops. Many of the billboard adds showcase famous American actors. Actress Marcia Cross is in many ads for what looks like laundry detergent.

We began our competition with the Viennese Waltz. How appropriate seeing as we are in Vienna! Charlotte drew last for us to skate with her "lucky fingers." We had a bit of a rough skate, but we are pleased with our performance. We are looking forward to the original dance and free dance. Our teammates, Logan and Lynn skated well and are in second place after the Viennese.

We finished the day with an original dance practice. Once back at the hotel we got to catch up with our teammates. Wesley [Campbell] and Tommy [Steenberg] were telling us about their bed situation. Their single beds are right next to each other and Tommy said he woke up in the morning because he could feel Wesley's hair on his for head.

We all thought that was hilarious!

Off to compete Original Dance.... More to come!
Char and Nick xoxo

Monday: Arrival in Vienna

Guten Abend from Vienna!

Well, the last two days have been a whirlwind of activity. Charlotte and I were the last of Team USA to arrive in Vienna, not without a few mishaps of course. After waiting at baggage claim for what seemed like hours, we came to the conclusion that Charlotte has the worst luck with luggage. It would be nice to go to an international and have Charlotte's bags arrive on time. Not only did her bags not arrive, but coach Pierre Panayi's were missing too. Once we were assured that the bags were on the next flight, we were off to the hotel. Since we were the last to arrive, we missed dinner with the rest of the team. We spent the rest of the night unpacking, hanging out with our teammates and getting some good sleep.

Charlotte and Pierre's bags finally arrived around 2:45 a.m. Yay!!! Char has skates... we can compete!

We started the day with our first practice at the Albert Schultz Eishalle. As we entered the building, the Viennese Waltz could be heard blaring from the speakers. The arena is nice and open with many windows. The ice feels great, and the temperature in the arena is quite warm. After practice, we took the subway back to the hotel for an hour and then back to the rink for our second practice. This session we shared with fellow Americans Logan [Giulietti-Schmitt] and Lynn [Kriengkrairut] and the Austrian team. After hearing the Austrian team's free dance music 37 times, we have all decided to delete Meat Loaf's "I Would Do Anything for Love" off our favorite-song list.

We finished the day with our team dinner at Zwolf-Apostelkeller. We got a taste of old Vienna. The restaurant is an old wine tavern with walls that predate to 1561. It was so deep you feel like you are entering a dungeon. The food was very good, especially the desert -- apple strudel with the special sauce. It was great spending time with the team: Wesley [Campbell], Tommy [Steenberg], Molly [Oberstar], Logan, Lynn, our team leader Sue Keough, the judges and coaches. On the way back to the hotel, Charlotte made a friend on the subway, "Ringtone Man."

Tomorrow starts competition, so off to bed. We will keep you updated as the week continues!

xoxo,
Char and Nick