Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chock Full of Gold

Madison Chock and Greg Zuerlein made a clean sweep of the major junior titles this season, both in the United States and internationally, hauling in gold at every event in which they competed.

After starting the season by winning their two Junior Grand Prixs in Italy and Great Britain, the couple won the SBS ISU Junior Grand Prix Final of Figure Skating in Goyang City, Korea in December.

They followed up by winning the U.S. National Junior ice dance title in January and the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria in February. They won each phase of the competition at each event.

"It was just so amazing being out there," Chock said of Junior Worlds. "It was absolutely incredible and everything just felt good. It has been such a great experience this year."

"Last year, we just wanted to get ourselves out there and show internationally what we are capable of," Zuerlein added. "This year we're more polished and ready. Our goal was to medal at the Final and at Junior Worlds. There was a lot of pressure on us to win Junior Worlds after we won the Final, but we tried not to think about it."

"We want to skate well and show what we have," Chock continued. "We knew that we had it in ourselves to win and hoped for the right circumstances."

"Our long-term goal is to reach the Olympics, at least 2014," Zuerlein shared. "It would be a dream come true to go in 2010, but that's probably too much to hope for."

"We're not sure yet what we'll do for next season," Chock said when asked. "We'll most likely be seniors in the U.S., which is a big step, and we hope to have another successful season."

The dancers both overcame injuries this season. Chock had tendonitis in her Achilles tendon, while Zuerlein broke his hand playing softball last summer. "I had my hand in a splint for about a month," he said. "I could skate but we couldn't do lifts."

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