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Euros 2009 One Finn’s impressions

One Finn’s Impressions from watching the EC2009 Live…

Well, the championships are now over, and I have to say it really was a lucky break for me that they were held here in Helsinki — actually, I live in a town Espoo but the two are really side by side. The Hartwall Arena, where the competition took place, was only about 15km away. With experience from national championships from a month ago, needless to say that the European Championships was something really different: lots of fans from all over Europe and even from North America were cheering the skaters on and creating pedestrian traffic jams with all the Finnish fans on the arena hallways in every zamboni break…

As in every event comparable to this, the atmosphere depends heavily on the size of the audience. Women’s short program took place on Friday, starting from 11 AM. The hall was half empty at the start, when the skaters were those who really had no chances to success and were mostly from countries where there is no major figure skating culture. Hence, not fan attendance from these countries to speak of. But as the afternoon went on more and more people could leave work and head for the hall, things turned out to be more lively and by the time the Finnish participants: Kiira, Susanna Pöykiö and Laura Lepistö (Laura’s webpage not updated since last year) were performing their short programs, the noise levels were very respectable indeed. On Saturday, for ladies’ free skate, when the audience was approx. 10,000 strong, the atmosphere completely hit the roof of the hall…

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