I am now on a mini vacation, but before I left for vacation, the Olympic season officially started as we had our short program choreographed. This year, we decided to do what “Meagan and Eric” want to do. We don’t want to try to be something we aren’t; we want to own our programs by bringing our unique story and passion to the audience. This season is about being us, our team and our personal journey!
Since 2011/2012 Eric has suggested that we skate to the instrumental version of “With or Without You”, but that season we opted for “Coldplay” and we found that “With or Without You” was too similar, so we just set it aside. Once again this spring, Eric brought up the idea of skating to it. We love the piano, we feel like it sums up “us”, and we feel passionately connected to the music and emotion, so it seemed like a no brainer. Then Julie appeared, with an unheard of version by April Meservy. Her voice was raw, powerful and captivating, and Julie, Eric and I sat there in tears listening to it. There was no plan B after that. This was it. It had to be it.
It’s worth noting that during this time we were all highly sensitive. This was post-Worlds; Eric was still struggling with his injury, I was struggling with the acceptance of what had happened this past season and why would I want to continue if I couldn’t control my own performances? And we were in discussions of adding new members onto our choreography and coaching team. It was an emotional roller coaster, but listening to April’s version of “With or Without You” gave us all hope. It gave us hope for the future, hope that we, as a team, would be back and hope that we really could evolve and grow our skating to a level it has never been.
We just finished a week of working with Julie and our new choreographer, John Kerr, on the program. Eric and I weren’t sure what to expect and came in with a fresh mind ready to work. We hoped that working with John would bring a new colour to our skating, a fresh touch so to speak. We had so much respect for the work he did with the German and French teams last season. We also toured with John a few years ago, and we know he is a great person, passionate about skating and very creative and insightful. On top of it all, him and Julie work so well together. We got the best of both worlds by working with the two of them, and I am so grateful to have had this opportunity, because in my opinion, we’ve created a short program that is natural, organic, seamless and pure but still unlike anything we’ve done before, with more shapes, movement and colour then in the past.
Our long program will be constructed after we return from a 2-week vacation. We are reviving our Muse free skate from the 2014-2015 season, in which we had an undefeated season. We loved our Muse program. We loved to train it, we connected with the music, the audience always seemed to truly enjoy it, and we felt confident with it! Eric and I were a raw team back in 2014 and I feel like we can now spice up Muse and make it more mature and refined, while keeping the “raw” energy in some regards.
This season already has such a special feeling to it. First of all, it’s likely our last. And what do you know at the end of something? You go back and continuously think of the beginning. It’s been a remarkable journey that figure skating has taken me on. I have gone above and beyond my greatest hopes and dreams and I’ve done it while being surrounded by an amazing team of people. In some crazy twist of fate, Eric and I were brought into each others lives at a perfect moment. I was eyeing a different Canadian Pair skater who I found was a more suitable match to my skating, but Bruno, my coach and husband, encouraged me to skate with Eric, that he was going to be great and he is the perfect partner for me. I knew Eric was great, but I had just never imagined skating with him. We didn’t “fit” together as far as I knew. So we started modestly. We wanted to qualify for a World Team and do things that no one had ever done before by consistently landing side by side Triple Lutz jumps. In 2012, after 2 years of skating together, we found ourselves 5th in the World, and our friends and teammates had just won the bronze medal.
We started thinking “Why not us? Why can’t we also win World medals?” During this time, as we were always making sure we were one step ahead of our competition technically, because we knew we were two steps behind in program components. We have two totally different bodies, personalities and skating styles. We worked really hard with our team to blend our skating over the years and to create a style that was unique to us, and it paid off with 2 World Bronze Medals, 2 World Titles and an Olympic Silver Medal in the Team Event. Remarkable experiences and memories that we will cherish forever. So many amazing moments that we shared, when we skated under intense pressure but preformed personal best skates. Those moments are pure magic. And I’ll be forever grateful that I got to experience them with Eric.
And here we are. With one more year to fill with magical performances. After the 2014 Sochi Olympics, in which we finished in 7th place, we never imagined we’d be going back to another Olympics. I didn’t envision it at all in that moment. We didn’t say “We are going to keep skating until 2018 to become Olympic Champions”. This was never part of our mindset. After 2014, it became a day-by-day process.
We were disappointed in our Sochi experience because we didn’t preform our best, and we left the ice feeling regret and disappointment. Our purpose to continue for another Olympic cycle was so that we could skate at the Olympics to our potential. So we’d leave the ice feeling proud and fulfilled with our efforts. A successful Olympic experience in Korea this winter will consist of preforming with meaning and purpose, and about being proud of the memories I bring home with me. That’s what this journey from Sochi to Pyeongchang has been all about. It wasn’t about going to another Olympics for medals, titles or objects, and it’s important that this feeling isn’t lost in the next 9 months.
I have nothing left to prove to myself, or to the skating community. These next 9 months are about enjoying the process and embracing each moment, because how lucky am I, to be right here, in the middle of my dream come true.