I was re-watching my “Can-can” … Since July until now after winning my fifth world championship … And I am increasingly aware of how the medal is nothing but the goal, the real journey, along which you have to work hard, is preparation.
During trainings you search for perfection which can be reached by repetitions without repeating oneself.
I could not wait to leave for Taipei, I felt ready, I was trained both physically and mentally … I did not have a favorable entry on the track, I would rather enter not at the beginning of the race, but never mind, the draw was so, and all I could do was telling me that everything was going fine anyway!
During the pre-race warm up, my mom stopped me and said, “Paula, I see you a little ‘nervous …” Obviously a lump in my throat rose up … I did not feel nervous, but obviously, due to my reaction, I was! I paid just half a tear, but as much as I it served to relieve tension. Now I was really ready! In the race I did not think about anything, just putting the “ autopilot” on. Great done!!
I made a very smooth race, I was in first place with 5 judges in favor of 7. I was very satisfied but I had so much adrenaline after the race that the coming night I could not sleep a single minute … I turned over in bed without getting asleep! It happens often during race-time not to sleep very well, but even sleepless night was over the top! But I could not give up right now … It was the day of the final. You work a whole year for this day, it was time to do my best! The test went very well, despite my legs were too tired … Everything was going too well … until after the official a big problem incurred: I did not plan to perform a stop before heading to the straight line sequence.
This technical problem came out just 5 hours after the race! So at 2 p.m. in the afternoon I went to try to change the program on the floor above the competition one.

I was definitely quieter but dead tired, I need to sleep a little hour and so I did! During that time the figure of my grandmother clearly appeared to me, she always shows up somehow before the race, saying: “Do not worry, I am with you”
That little nap regenerated me, I felt much better. I quickly hair dressed and made up.
It was time to finally get on track for the Big Final. I wanted to give the best … I am convinced that if I could feel something as beautiful while skating, it would have automatically transferred to the public and if they could feel what I feel, then the purpose is actually achieved.
It is not something to be improvised, you must work on it, both physically and mentally. The first question to ask is: “what do you want the audience to feel this dance?” I felt that I wanted them to feel JOY. I wanted that, through my can-can performance, my joy for skating transpired all over. Despite that, I was focused on myself, I did not think to the others, I was concentrated just what I was going to do.

It was time to go, I had a good energy, I calmed right down in the middle of the program after performing well the “last minute” change.
The second part was gone smoother, I have enjoyed more, the audience was also very involved, accompanied the dance with clapping and everything had gone according to plan. Some people were on their feet to applaud, I was in that state in which you feel to be wrapped in a bubble in which you are aware only in part.

Leaving the track I greeted my grandfather in heaven. Until last year he would always ask me to greet him thru the screen at the end of my program and I have always paid this time. The year before he got up at 4 am to watch my race in Auckland. This year, he watched me directly from up above, next to my grandmother.

The score was high, once again the screen showed “PLACE 1” for the fifth time, I was on the top step of the podium! I had done it … the work of a year, paid by that emotion, unique and ever new! Everybody came to me with many compliments, it’s nice to feel the love of all, it’s nice to know that everybody got excited together with me and shared this amazing moment.
The affection and involvement of all these people is great, it’s nice to be surrounded by so many people cheering for you … so sincerely I deliver a global THANKS to all the people I have been close always and have made this experience even more meaningful!


Taipei, 2013