Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Canadian pair a rarity in competitive skating

In winter and summer, pair skaters Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers train in the smallest of small towns on the Canadian prairie -- Wawota, Saskatchewan, population 500 or thereabouts, and Whitewood, Saskatchewan, population 950, give or take a few. On summer weekends, Lawrence, 18, and Swiegers, 21, go their separate ways. She heads home to the family ranch outside Kennedy, Saskatchewan (population: 200), where her family raises rodeo bulls and horses and stages rodeo events. Swiegers, who does not share his partner's passion for rodeo, might be found kayaking across a secluded prairie lake. Next week, as competitors on the Junior Grand Prix circuit, Lawrence and Swiegers will fly south to one of the most populous metropolises in the world -- Mexico City, population 18 million. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, that prospect doesn't seem to faze them.

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