Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Carolina Kostner leaves coach Michael Huth

Two-time European champion Carolina Kostner has left her long-time coach Michael Huth and is searching for a new training situation.

The 22-year-old Kostner, who won world silver in 2008, placed 12th at the 2009 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Los Angeles after a disastrous free program that saw her inexplicably singling many intended triple and double jumps. The event was the nadir of a disappointing season; Kostner also lost her European title to Finland's Laura Lepistö in part due to repeating a spin and gaining no points for her final element.

The multi-lingual skater, who is fluent in Italian, German and English as well as her native tongue of Ladin, would be comfortable training in many different countries. Born in a village in the mountains of South Tyrol in Northern Italy, she left home at age 12 when her rink in Ortisei was destroyed by a heavy mud slide. She began training full-time in Oberstdorf, Germany, site of the annual Nebelhorn Trophy, under Huth's tutelage.

In Oberstdorf, the Italian champion often shared the ice with 2008 European champion Tomas Verner, as well as other top European ladies, including former German champion Annette Dytrt and two-time European silver medalist Sarah Meier, who has trained at the national center there during the summer months.

Under heavy media coverage during the 2006 Turin Olympics held in her home country, Kostner served as flag bearer for the Italian team and placed ninth. There will also be added pressure on her to perform well next season: the 2010 World Championships, held after the Vancouver Olympics, will take place in Turin.


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