Last time I went to Asia I found myself in Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The smog was so bad in Beijing that the government warned people not to go outside unless it was absolutely necessary. It felt apocalyptic so I was pleasantly surprised that my experience this year was SO much different.
According to one of our customers, Beijing’s mayor dealt with the problem by pushing the factories further away from the city. This made the experience so much more enjoyable. We hired a private driver to take us to the Great Wall since I missed it last time. Walking the Great Wall allowed us both the chance to get our steps in while creating unforgettable memories. I definitely would not want to have been a stone mason on that job! Its length is incomprehensible—13,000 miles long! That’s the equivalent of me flying from Sheffield to Saranac Lake 4 times!
From Beijing we shot down to Tokyo for the World Championships. Figure skating is supposedly the second most popular sport in Japan and it showed. I feel like every event was sold out. The fans understand the scoring system even though I still struggle with it. The company had some incredible results. Out of 166 competitors, 127 were on www.johnwilsonskates.com or www.mkblades.com
77% of all world competitors wore MK or John Wilson blades.
14/18 medallists on MK or John Wilson blades—77%.
Lastly, I got to witness Nathan Chen win his 2nd World title. He became the first US Man to defend a world title since Scott Hamilton. Oh, and he did this while managing a full course load at Yale. What made seeing Nathan win again so special is the fact that I met him my first year in the business, back in 2012. To see him grow and become the skater he is has been a highlight of my career!
What a trip!