Becky Bereswill's Finlandia Trophy diary

Netherlands detour, reindeer and fried Muikku

Becky Bereswill blogs from the 2009 Finlandia Trophy in Vantaa, Finland.
Becky Bereswill blogs from the 2009 Finlandia Trophy in Vantaa, Finland. (Michelle Harvath)


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By Becky Bereswill, special to
(10/10/2009) - Becky Bereswill blogs from Vantaa, Finland, the site of the Finlandia Trophy.

Wednesday, Oct. 7
Finnish Greeting!

Terve! Hello from Helsinki, Finland! It is beautiful here and the weather is a cool and crisp 40 degrees. It has been a long day of travel and everyone made it here safely with their skates too! My flights were mostly smooth and uneventful despite having to make a rapid, steep retake-off after almost landing in Amsterdam to avoid an unexpected plane on the jetway. However, this unexpected detour sent us on a brief aerial tour of the Netherlands, which was nice.

After the flight, we met up with Jane Summersett, Todd Gilles, and their coach Liz Swallow for the flight into Helsinki. After being greeted by a couple kind members of the local organizing committee, we headed to the hotel and found Team leader John Cole, and team official Coco Shean. With a few hours to spare waiting for the rest of the team to arrive, we decided to head into downtown.

Downtown was a quick 30-minute bus ride from the hotel, so we were able to spend a few hours there. We got to see many landmarks including a beautiful Russian church and the Helsinki Opera house. Also, the Helsinki Herring festival is going on this week and the beautiful shore was full of many fishermen and their boats filled with many types of fish, Finnish delicacies, and of course, herring!

Feeling very daring, and slightly hungry, we sampled many new foods including pickled herring, reindeer, and fried Muikku, which was very small fished fried complete with tail and eyes. After I eventually mustered enough courage for one, I realized they were pretty good, but one was enough for me!

After we returned from downtown the team met for a wonderful team dinner at the hotel then it was off to bed!

Thursday, Oct. 8
The weather has been cold and rainy, but that has not taken away from the beauty of the fall leaves and city.

Today was the official practice ice day. Everyone practiced in the official practice ice rink while the competition rink was being prepared with flowers and lighting. The practice rink was interesting because all of the lightening was orange and created an orange glow throughout.

Later some people were able to visit downtown and see some of the city. Later that night, Jane and I turned on the TV and found a channel in English! The channel was MTV Nordic and we enjoyed a few minutes of popular Finnish music groups as well as familiar American stars.

The competition starts tomorrow for the ice dance and the men's event starts tomorrow, and everyone is very anxious for it to start.

Friday, Oct. 9
The competition went really well today. Jane (Summersett) and Todd (Gilles) skated a beautiful waltz to finish fourth in the compulsory dance, while Alex (Johnson) and Stephen (Carriere) skated powerfully to place well in a steep and very exciting men's field. More to come!

Saturday, Oct. 10
Today was an earlier start for everyone! The weather is clearing up and it was a beautiful cool day. Everyone has enjoyed getting to watch a lot of good skating and has really appreciated the wonderful and generous volunteers who have been working very hard to keep the competition running well.

I heard the dance event was fun to watch, and was disappointed to miss it! The much anticipated men's free skate event had a full crowd and an energized audience to end the night. The ladies event was great as well. I took a silly and unexpected fall in the beginning steps of my program moments before my first jump, but felt really good about the rest of my program.

Tomorrow is a new day and everyone is excited for the rest of the competition!

More tomorrow!
Good night!