10:20am CDT (11:20pm in China) – This morning we had a really great show – minimal falls until our last act, slow jump (aka fast pyramid). The first attempt we crashed entirely off the dock. Second attempt had one couple fall, but we were still able to build a three high with jumpers. After the morning’s competition we were down by 10 points. The Chinese pulled out a parachute act in which their gymnast superstar girl dangled from some ropes – it was amazing.
At lunch, we were surprised by a table full of KFC. On this hotel’s website, their tagline is funnily translated to “you could receive the most meticulous care” and we can confirm that you actually will receive fantastic service here. The staff has been so attentive and wonderful. We’ve been very well taken care of in Laiwu.
This afternoon’s skiing was not as clean by both teams. A major success to note is that the ballet line had no falls throughout the skiing in China – practice, exhibition, or competition. Great job, ladies! We finished strong with a good, clean four high.
Another note about today’s competition is that we had great fans today – children from local schools arrived on foot and were very excited to interact with the US skiers and were very entertained by the shows.
Tonight we had our banquet and learned that we came out ahead of the Chinese by about 30 points! Mr. Dan Wang earned Best Male Skier and we celebrated with what we think was jet fuel… Gambay (bottoms up)!
We exchanged gifts with the Chinese team and had our last moments with them as they will travel back to Beijing tonight in order to catch a train tomorrow morning and travel back to their home town, which is about 1500 miles away. We’ve been told that the skiers (ranging in age from 15-30) get to see their families about 5 times a years. Apparently that is a lot for them! We are having a great time, but also appreciate very much our lives back home. Thank you all for your support!
Tomorrow we are going to the “grand canyon” of Laiwu. After our local sightseeing we’ll head back to Beijing for another day and a half of sightseeing. Best guess is that our bus ride will be at least 8 hours, so don’t be surprised if there is no update tomorrow night! We’ll be in touch soon!