It was a cold morning in Russia on the opening day of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games 2014. I got out of my car and huddled into my thin jacket as chilly winds blew around me. I had just gotten into the stadium after rushing for two hours, and lines of cars were still waiting behind me, fighting to get into the stadium.
I hustled past the swarm of people near the ticket barrier and hurried into the stadium. It was the first time I was watching a winter Olympic sports and so I was unprepared.
As I walked through the huge opening, the first thing that struck me was the noise. I looked about to find huge cheering crowds gathered within the hundreds of seats around the stadium. The stadium had an oval shape like a football stadium, only there was more white than green. Tall barriers had been put up to control the wild fans as they cheered loudly, waving flags of different countries.
I desperately pushed past the crowd and went on to take my seat in the far end. Only when I finally settled down did I get a chance to see the skating ring below me. It was a huge, round piece of snowy white ice that had been polished hard so it gleamed in the bright lights. It was so incredibly clear that I could almost bend over and see my own reflection staring back at me in the ice.
Near the skating ring, the judges were seated in tall chairs with a huge glass table in front of them. They looked elderly, men and women with big fat registers in their hands. Even the cheers of the crowd didn’t unhinge them as they bent over their important papers.
The media had also collected in big groups, sending flashes of cameras around the excited crowd. There was a tense but excited atmosphere around the stadium as I quietly took my seat, bewildered by the whole scene.
Suddenly the noise died out as the first two contestants appeared on the ice, emerging from some far corner of the stadium. They were Sandrine and Prince, representing France, as the commentator announced their arrival. They both looked breathtaking, the girl dressed in a beautiful jeweled dress that was almost as short as a swimsuit.
Her black hair was rolled up in an elegant bun and her face was covered in a shimmery blue powder. The boy was dressed in a willowy blue shirt, matched with loose, white pants. Both of them looked extremely young, about 17-18. They looked strangely natural in the low lighting, like a pair of swans swimming around in twilight.
The skaters both wore brilliant smiles, which seemed to mask a tense feeling underneath. I now understood the pressure on this smiling young couple; they were just about to represent the whole of France.
They whole stadium was silent for a moment as they began the dance. Calm flowing music started as the girl glided along the ring with the boy. They were doing beautiful birdlike steps and the crowd suddenly gasped as the boy held the girl up and swung her around, as simply as if it were nothing.
They did a magical couple dance, flowing along with the flute music. Many times, the boy lifted the girl gently into the air as they went spinning around the ice, back and forth. It was a magnificent moment that seemed to linger on forever, until suddenly the lights turned bright and the music changed to pop.
It was a Michael Jackson song and they started breakdancing. I was starting to think that the blue dress didn’t exactly fit for the song when suddenly the girl’s dress grew longer and sparkling black. The blue frills closed in as her top turned scarlet. The boy’s willowy shirt sprung out a shimmery black jacket and a black hat as the couple grinned at each other, waiting for the reaction.
It was a dress trick and one of the most amazing tricks I had ever seen. They glinted brightly as the dumbstruck crowd shouted at each other, pointing to the dress. It was so fast that it was almost as if they were whizzing along a train, their sharp skates moving swiftly along the ring.
I was wonder struck by the sudden change in their dance as the crowd hung on to their every move. The girl pulled up the boy and lifted him backwards as he sped along, catching her to turn into a backspin. The shouts of the crowd were hilarious as they glided about with the music, which was growing faster. They were doing the Michael Jackson moonwalk and went spinning smoothly around the ice. The mood seemed to have caught on with the crowd as they went whistling and dancing around the hundreds of rows and seats.
Finally, Prince swung Sandrine on top of himself, and they did a last astounding spin as the music ended with the loud bang. The couple froze in the shot and the stadium erupted in cheers. The screams were deafening as I jumped to my feet and cheered madly. The couple smiled and bowed graciously to the crowd.
They hugged each other and were all smiles. I noticed Prince’s face turning slightly red because of all the cheering that they were being given. The French fans were yelling uncontrollably as the judges nodded to each other, and for once, half smiles were on their usually grim faces. I couldn’t even hear my own voice as the stadium rang with cheers.
Sandrine and Prince were panting as they trudged thankfully up to their teammates, who hugged them both excitedly. I could spot pearly tears coming out of the girl’s eyes as they displayed her face on the huge screen. It was certainly a wonderful moment, one the country would be proud of them for.
I smiled secretly to myself and watched the talented young couple slowly disappear into the far end of the stadium hand in hand.
It was my first time watching the sport, and it was one I would never forget.
Thanks for reading this through! In case you’re guessing, I wasn’t actually able to go to the Sochi Olympics, being only 11 and perched before the T.V. But I can assure you, the dancers were breathtaking anyway.
Amazing Kids US Magazine agree with me on this, accepting the story for publication!
This is one of my first few works as a 11 year old, though it got published later on.
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