The Effects of Emotion, Imagery and Negative Feelings on Memory Retrieval
Here I was, at the 2013 U.S. Synchronized Figure Skating Championships, standing in the well-known “kiss and cry” area with my team. We just skated our second program of the competition, the long program, and it felt absolutely incredible. I remember completing each element and taking a deep breath of relief each time knowing we made it through another section of our program without a fall. Our team’s goal this season was a pewter medal, 4th place, and we were moments away from achieving it. The short program, which we skated the night before, was also incredible and it gave us close to a four point ...view middle of the document...
Just seconds later my heart nearly stopped; I felt like I could not breathe. Seeing that “5th” appear on the screen immediately tore me apart. If the camera could have zoomed in on my mouth, I’m sure the entire arena would have seen me mouth the infamous “f bomb.” I looked at the difference in our scores and the 4th place team’s; it was a .32 difference. When your combined point total is about 155 points and you miss it by .32 points, it is absolutely devastating. I held in my tears and looked back to see the reactions of my coaches; I could see the disappointment in Kathi’s eyes and John turned his back before I was even able to look at his face.
Slowly, we exited the ice and put on our blade guards. The tears came streaming down half of our team’s faces, but I just kept my eyes on Kathi. I felt like she was going to tell me this was an awful joke; that there was a mistake and she was going to argue and put up a fight because we sure as hell deserved that medal. Our team had never been so broken apart. We walked in silence around the rink to get our photo taken. When we reached the photographer, the team that beat us by a lousy .32 points was walking to take the ice with the three other medalists. That should have been us. We took our pictures and I finally spoke a word to my sister; I could not even cry at this point as I just felt this entire process was such a joke. We worked our butts off for an entire season for this outcome? I made eye contact with John as we took the last length of the rink back to the locker room and I gave him a smirk. I knew exactly what the smirk meant; this sport is so political and so subjective, so why the hell do I keep putting myself through this? We had such a strong and bonded team; I knew because of this loss we were broken and the organization was going to take an even bigger hit, but I didn’t even care.
“Two of the best skates we’ve had at competitions all year turned out to just not be worth enough.” After a strong lead from the short competition, Kim felt like going into the long program seemed like a gift. She kept thinking to herself as the team lined up and prepared to take the ice, “stay on your feet, keep it together and we should be good.” She says, “We were good,” but after a wonderful skate, one the team would not take back for the world, the team stood in the kiss and cry and the tears of sheer joy she shed turned into a bitter sting. Kim called it “a feeling I will never forget.” She said it was the most confident she ever felt standing there waiting for the scores; the atmosphere was so glorious and so right that it did not even seem possible to leave the ice heartbroken. “I felt the entire rink was pulling for us; I could feel the support from our organization, but I also knew we had many teams out there wanting us to succeed and I could just hear it in the applause.” She said it felt as if everyone knew the ICE’Kateers were good enough and strong enough to earn that Pewter...