Sunday, February 15, 2009

Crone and Poirier Feel Up to Pre-Olympic Challenges

The pressure is on for Canadian ice dancers Vanessa Crone and Paul Poirier, who won the silver medal in senior dance at the 2009 Canadian Nationals.

Along with Canada's world silver medalists, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, the teenagers are responsible for placing high enough at the 2009 World Championships in Los Angeles in March to give Canada three dance teams for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada.

"Obviously, there will be a lot of pressure on us at Worlds," Crone stated, "but we'll just put ourselves out there and do what we can. If we make the top ten, that's great. Otherwise, we'll readjust and try to improve for next season."

Only 18 and 17 respectively, the dancers appear to be equal to the task. Already during the 2008-09 season, the couple won a silver medal in their very first ISU Grand Prix event at Skate Canada, then placed fourth at Trophée Eric Bompard in France, narrowly missing the ISU Grand Prix Final.

"We didn't have any expectations for this year," Poirier said. "We went into the Grand Prix season with an open mind set knowing we had the possibility to do well. To get a medal and then fourth in Paris was great. It really boosted our confidence knowing we could compete with the best."

"We knew at Canadians it would be a fair game if we skated well," Crone continued. "So we knew we had to work really hard to be ready."

"Our goal was to have some senior Worlds experience before the Olympics," Poirier added. "Being the second team in Canada puts us in a good position for the Olympic Games, but our main goal is just to have three good skates at Worlds."

Last season, the dancers, who have skated together for eight years, took second place at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships, so they are no strangers to high-level competition. Whether they compete in Vancouver or not, the dancers plan to go on until at least 2014.

Full article.

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