Carriere says 'Guten tag!' from Nebelhorn Trophy

American skater returns to Oberstdorf for second year in a row

Stephen Carriere, pictured here with coach Suna Murray, is familiar with the lay of the land in Oberstdorf, having been there just last year.
Stephen Carriere, pictured here with coach Suna Murray, is familiar with the lay of the land in Oberstdorf, having been there just last year. (Klaus-Reinhold Kany)


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By Stephen Carriere, special to
(09/27/2012) - Stephen Carriere captured the bronze last year in Oberstdorf, and he's back at the Nebelhorn Trophy to try to claim more hardware. He's blogging about his experiences for

Friday, Sept. 28

One aspect to internationals that skaters don't tend to mention is the rooming situation.

For example, here my roommate is the super amazing Evan Bates. What is not amazing is that my schedule is almost the opposite of his, so when he needs to sleep, I am coming home from my event.

Let's just say that it turns out with me trying extremely hard to be as quiet as I can with as little light as possible. So, basically you can picture me slamming into walls in the dark in an attempt to find anything.

I was able to catch the pairs programs before and after practice today. Both U.S. teams did an amazing job, with John [Coughlin] and Caydee [Denney] skating a clean Phantom program, and Gretchen [Donlan] and Andrew [Speroff] skating their fantastic Sleeping Beauty. Both teams skated well and both opened with great triple twists.

The Russian team who won, [Tatiana] Volosozhar and [Maxim] Trankov, seemed to like doing very Cirque du Soleil-esque lifts, with her upside down for most of them.

Apparently, the pairs event was full of drama in between the short and long. One pair withdrew right after short, while another withdrew at the practice before the event by taking their long [program] CD back from the ice monitor.

But then again, what would figure skating be without a little bit of backstage drama?

Wednesday, Sept. 26

It has been a pretty easy couple of days for Team USA out here in Oberstdorf. The only snag for one member of Team USA was that Caroline [Zhang]'s luggage did not leave with her at her Toronto connection, but thankfully her bag was retrieved by Wendy Enzmann and Lorrie Parker, who, by the way, are here as well to take their international judging exams.

While the crew from Boston had a very, very easy route of travel (Boston to Munich), some members of the team practically traveled halfway around the world. For example, Keegan [Messing] arrived in Oberstdorf via Amsterdam and Minnesota and Anchorage, all without a working TV/movie screen. The only tricky thing about coming to Oberstdorf is that even if you arrive in Munich, you still have a 2 1/2-hour train or bus ride to the hotel.

Other than the same old information people put in their blogs, I decided to send in some little tidbits:

- On the plane from Boston to Munich, I apparently held up the plaza of bathrooms with my stretching mid-flight. Supposedly, as Andrew was approaching the crowded area above the bathrooms on the lower level of the plane, a German man said to him, "Do not vorry, a boy is just doings das sports! You can go, yaah."

- A fun fact about Keegan is that he has a beautiful pure-bred Siberian Husky named Eela. In fact, Eela would fit right in here because it seems like every other German has a really well-trained dog with them.

- The word of the week has been decided upon as "uber," as we are in Germany.

- A little fun fact at the draw of the men's short: It was one of those draws during which the suspense just grows after each number is drawn because the first spot has not been chosen yet. When we got to the skater from Brazil who was not there, Tomáš Verner went to pick the number when Andrei Rogozine of Canada screamed out, "One!" Sure enough, the skater from Brazil will be skating first.

- At the dinner on Tuesday night, Caroline wanted a simple iced coffee, and after the third try, she finally got one. On the two tries before, she got these ornate ice cream coffee sundaes. So, word to the wise, if you want an iced coffee here in Oberstdorf, be very clear when you order it.