Sunday, 15 March 2009

Colorado-trained athletes on edge of world success

The Denver Post just published an article about some of the biggest threats to veteran skaters; Jeremy Abbott, Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker,Brandon Mroz and Rachael Flatt, who all train at the World Arena in Colorado. It must be a real fight for space on the ice with all five of them skating around, but imagine how amazing and motivating it must be for the other skaters!
"The atmosphere at the rink, I don't know if there's something in the water or what," Flatt said. "It's just great motivation for all of us to watch each other, push each other and do good programs."

As well as sharing ice space, many of them share a coach.
The coach who hit the mother lode is one Tom Zakrajsek, who coaches Abbott, Mroz and Flatt.

"In one respect it's not a surprise to have three skaters on the world team because they all work very hard," Zakrajsek said. "And we kind of plan for success, as crazy as that sounds."

The article also talks about McLaughlin and Brubaker specifically:
McLaughlin and Brubaker defended their national championship and won the 2007 world junior title. The difference this year is that McLaughlin, at 16, is finally old enough to attend senior worlds.

"And I'm getting my license next month!" said the Tarzana, Calif., native.

Brubaker is 22, and they've been together only three years, about half the time most teams take to reach the world championship level. They will be the youngest pairs team in L.A. yet have raised their components to fit the competition.

"It's been challenging," Brubaker said. "We've been learning so much, too. We're still considered the young kids."

The rest of the article can be read here.
Program of the Day is M/B's SP from Cup of China last season. They have some beautiful lifts and are showing definite improvement on their throw jumps; however, there is obvious development needed for their side-by-side jumps.