Loving all the stories, especially this one!
Skate America 2007 - We ended up staying at the skaters' hotel. Great encounters with a number of skaters with conversations that lasted at least a few minutes long - Stephen Carriere, Ryan Bradley. I recognized Nobuo Sato in the lobby, went up to him, complemented him on his coaching and how much we loved watching Yuka skate through the years. What a gentleman -so polite and humble. He bowed when I spoke to him. I don't remember if he was coaching Taka at the time (Taka was at that competition and was quite impressive to me even back then).
So nice to talk to Amanda & Mark after practice sessions at different competitions (2005 SA, 2009 Nationals). They remembered me (I had given them a picture from a previous time), and they thanked us for supporting US figure skating. I saw Yuka in the concourse at SA 2007. She was in a hurry to get back to the broadcast booth for Japanese TV coverage. She apologized for not being able to talk to me then because of that, but said to me, "See you at SOI!" When we attended SOI in 2009 and were fortunate enough to see the warm-up, I was returning from the restroom. Yuka passed by, hugged me and my friend (whom she also recognizes at this point).