It really has been a while since we wrote our blog, in fact almost two months. We could give you many reasons why but most of you know us well enough to know that it has been a challenging few months for us to say the least.
Since we last posted our blog, we competed in the World Universiade in Turkey the first week in February. We finished 5th out of 16 which is something to be very proud of really. We only had confirmation the day before we were due to fly that we were actually would be going and the run up to the competition was quite stressful with various things happening around us. We skated a good short dance and placed 3rd. Same old story, first on technique and lower on components but with no judge or coach supporting us 3rd at this event, it was a very good result. Unfortunately we suffered a heavy fall on the practice before the freedance and both of us were carrying problems heading in to it. Withdrawal was not really an option (sometimes we are too stubborn), thank goodness for a great team of physios and pain killers, we finished the competition somehow. Unsurprisingly we did not skate our best and placed 5th overall, we were very disappointed but we actually said entering the competition if we could make the top 5 we would be happy and we did make the top 5, only 0.01 from 4th (now that was unlucky)! We are perfectionists so we did give ourselves a very hard time about how we skated. In reflection now though, 5th with everything we had to contend with was a great result and also still placed us ahead in our national ranking.
Of course now it is public knowledge that not only as British National Champions we did not get selected for the European Championships but also we have not been selected for the World Championships. We have gone through a wide spectrum of emotions over issues such as this, this season and we would be lying if we didn’t admit to feeling embarrassed, disheartened and undervalued. We have not been vocal at all in respect to the World Championships as we were not surprised and to be honest, we were physically and psychologically very very tired of anything negative. We have had a hard but very successful season on the whole. Two international gold medals, maximum ISU points we could achieve, Welsh and British Champions and despite certain perceptions we would be mad not to be delighted with these results. It is unfortunate that we had so much negativity cast over the British Championship title in particular, as it has been discredited by some people and therefore we allowed ourselves very little pleasure out of this win. We are very proud of our achievements and hope you are as well.
After some months we are now regaining belief in our achievements and reigniting our excitement to skate again. It has taken a while after the knocks we have had, to build ourselves up again but we are ok. We returned to training a couple of weeks ago now and we have been having very honest and constructive discussions with various people about what is next for us. The general consensus is that we need to find out who we are in order to be able to give more to our performances. If we take the critique we have received in a very uncomplicated way, look at our results in detail and watch our performances, we cannot argue that our technique is our strength. If we watch ourselves on a performance level we feel there is more to give. We are very passionate, lively people with lots of character and personality and we need to reflect this in how we skate. When you can take this perspective and consider like this, thing become very exciting!
We would be talking rubbish if we told you we know exactly what we were going to choose for next season, or make promises as to what we will give but genuinely we have no idea. We are taking the time now to discover what is us, what makes us tick and who we are. This may all sound very ‘dreamy’ but as a performer these things are important and complex.
On a positive note Louise has been nominated for a Preston Sports Award for Female Sports Performance of the Year. She is very modest and embarrassed about it but it is something to be very proud of. We will both be attending the awards ceremony on Friday 11th March where we will discover if she has won or not. Fingers crossed as it would be a lovely end to the season for us both but the nomination in its self is great and well deserved.
We are actually back in the UK at the moment for various promotional events and practical reasons. It is always lovely to see family and friends. We were in Cardiff on Monday to hold an ‘Ice Inc’ stall at the Cardiff Opens, we have skated in Deeside and had a film crew with us on Thursday filming us for the Awards montage. This next week we will be in various places so don’t be surprised if we pop in where you are. We hope to be in Blackburn Monday, Deeside Tuesday and after that is anyone’s guess!
Our Ice Inc project is developing nicely and we were in Munich at the ISPO directly after the Universiade to personally meet with suppliers and supporters of our cause. Any money made at the moment is being reinvested back into the business but the response we have had so far has been very encouraging. Ice Inc and our competing go hand in hand and we are working hard to strike the right balance to make both sides reach their potential. We have some amazing volunteers who are helping us run the business and as always we are overwhelmed with the support that we receive.
As you all know we are very passionate about anything that we can do for charity and to help a good cause and it was our great pleasure on Monday to meet two wonderful people in Cardiff. We would like to draw your attention to http://www.ieuanthelion.com/ We were contacted a couple of weeks ago by a lady asking us for a signed photograph which of course we were happy to oblige. After some research we decided that we would like to donate our photo (a very small gesture in the grand scheme of things) in person. We arranged the meeting and we were so very touched by these people. We will be helping to support this charity in any way we can and when you see what these people do it puts life into perspective. Please take time to visit their website if you can.
We have a new email account firstname.lastname@example.org we were conscious of the fact that Louise seemed to send all of the blogs and information so we created a new account that we will now send and respond together to information that is for both of us. Feel free to contact us on the above email. Blogs will follow from that email shortly.
We will try our very best to keep up to date with our blogs and thank you all for taking the time to read them.
Love to all and best wishes.
Owen & Louise