Vise and Kole — You Can't Keep a Good Pair Down (9/03)
|Vise and Kole at the 2003 State Farm U.S. Championships|
Photo by Paul Harvath
"We knew we had to place in the top two to have a shot at the final," Kole said.
Despite a slight accident in practice the evening before the competition, the pair was able to compete with confidence to take the medal.
"We had a slight collision during one of our practices," Vise said.
One of the teams accidentally got a bit too close and brushed Vise's arm as the pair was going into a throw triple loop, which threw off the timing just a bit.
"I went into my throw not completely focused," Vise added.
"We still decided to do the throw but hadn't realized that we had gotten quite a bit off pattern, so the throw ended up being off axis," Kole said. "When Brittany's foot hit the ice she fell forward onto her chin. She had lost her breath, so I carried her over to the boards. She was then able to stand and skate off the ice where we were immediately greeted by about eight people."
Despite three stitches and a mild concussion, the pair had a tremendous practice the next morning and decided that they would continue with the competition.
"In my mind it was never a question if I was able to compete," Vise said.
Vise and Kole went on to skate a short program to music from the movie 6 Days, 7 Nights and a free skate to music from this summer's box office hit Pirates of the Caribbean.
"I was especially pleased with our short program in Mexico because I was able to skate and stay calm even through the accident the night before," Vise said.
"In the short program I had to hold on to the landing of my double Axel a bit, and our side-by-side spins were a little far apart. But everything else was done well, especially the throw triple Salchow," Kole said.
The free skate was a bit more disappointing for the pair.
The two plan on polishing up a few of the basics such as stroking and posture and may even add a triple twist lift if they make it all the way to the Junior Grand Prix Final.
"Technically we are focusing on more consistency in our elements," Vise said. "We are also working heavily on improving our line, unison, and power of skating to look more mature."
The pair didn't focus all of their time on skating however. They both went to the Aztec pyramids and had lunch in a restaurant that was built inside a cave. But it seemed to be the people that made the biggest impact on Vise and Kole.
"Many of the locals came to watch us skate, and they were excited about the competition," Kole said. "There were at least 100 people for every event."
"I especially enjoyed the children; they made us feel like stars," Vise said.
Vise and Kole have been skating together for the past four years and believe that communication is a major factor in making the relationship work.
"Without communication there is very little chance of a lasting partnership," Kole said. "We are very similar in a lot of ways which makes it easier to communicate."
"We started skating together when I was 11 and Nick was 15, so we had to learn to appreciate each other's differences and growing experiences," Vise said. "Now that we are older we are able to communicate and work through any issues that may come up." So despite a few stitches and mishaps, Vise and Kole have done what they can to make the Junior Grand Prix Final. If they do, their strong programs and excellent communication might help them on to the podium.