This was your dream—right?
It was a dream, yes. To be able to come back and to be able to skate again, but in a different way—no pressures, just going out and skating and having a good time. Being in amateur skating, where you are training to win or to place, or to have a position to go to a next event, but this, even though it was a pro competition—first place, second place, fifth place didn't matter because I just wanted to go out and skate and have a good time and see all my friends and skate for my fans and friends and family.
Were you worried about how you would be accepted by the other skaters?
I was very nervous going to this, preparing for it and everything. Having four weeks to prepare and not knowing how I would be accepted by the other skaters...
Had you seen any of the other skaters (prior to the event)?
I had seen a couple of skaters over the past few years when they came to town for tours and things like that. And I took a trip to Sun Valley and skated (practiced) there for a couple of days and saw some people up there, and they were very nice to me. And, so, I knew a few of them would be nice to me, but I didn't know how all of them would be and whether or not they would try to stay away from me or be scared of me. When I got there, everybody was very nice and giving me hugs and kisses on the cheek. It was really nice to be welcomed back. Then the first day of competition, going to the rink and seeing all the media there—it was a very emotional time—from that point until I got through with that night ... and it was, I don't know.