Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dancers Overcome Injuries in Successful Season

Canadian ice dancers Karen Routhier, 18, and Eric Saucke-Lacelle, 19, made great strides during the 2008-09 season, even though they battled through injuries. Routhier endured year-long pain in her left leg which limited her training time.

The young team won the junior ice dance title in Canada after taking the silver medal in 2008. It was Saucke-Lacelle's third Canadian title as he won pre-novice dance in 2005 and novice dance in 2006 with Christina Gignac, his previous partner.

This past February, Routhier and Saucke-Lacelle improved their placement at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships, moving up from tenth in 2008 to seventh.

"The level of difficulty was much higher this year than last in the top ten at Junior Worlds," Saucke-Lacelle underlined. "There were some tough teams we hadn't competed against before. We were hoping we'd end up between sixth and eighth and we did."

The dancers also won bronze medals at both of their ISU Junior Grand Prix events at Czech Skate and the John Curry Memorial.

"Next year, we'll compete as seniors at Canadians but stay in juniors internationally," Routhier revealed. "We hope to make the Junior Grand Prix Final and go back to Junior Worlds again." "We're going to try to do some senior summer competitions to get ready," Saucke-Lacelle added. "Maybe Minto Skate so our parents can come and see us."

Saucke-Lacelle is the more experienced of the pair, having started skating at three and ice dancing at eight. Although her mother was a skating coach, Routhier only began skating when she was six and didn't start dancing until she was 14.

The dancers, who have been together since the summer of 2006, have trained at the Mariposa School of Skating in Barrie, Ontario since January 2008 under a team headed by David Islam. "It's very different training here than in Montreal," Saucke-Lacelle explained. "David organizes and schedules everything for us. Our off ice training, ballet and gym work is all taken care of and it's mandatory that we do it. In Quebec, it was kind of an option."

Full article.

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