Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Findlay Finds Fresh Start in France

Terra Findlay, a 19-year-old blond from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, has found new hope for her skating career by dancing with Benoît Richaud, 21, from Avignon, France.

Findlay started ice dancing in 2005, competing with Liam Dougherty. They placed eighth in senior dance in Canada in 2006 and seventh in 2007, before the couple split up. "I wasn't really comfortable in Montreal," Findlay said. "There was a big age difference between Liam and me. I was really homesick, so I went back after we split up, but I realized that I still wanted to skate."

"Benoît and I started skating together in November of 2007," Findlay stated. "When I decided I wanted to continue, I put my profile on icepartnersearch.com and Benoît's coach found it and sent me a message about a tryout."

After the tryout, the dancers decided to compete for France rather than Canada. "There are not as many couples in France," Findlay said, "and some of them will leave after the Olympics next year. Also the French federation did not want to let Benoît go. It's easier to get a passport as well, and we would be eligible for the Olympics in 2010, but our real goal is 2014."

The couple finished tenth at the 2009 World Junior Figure Skating Championships. "We wanted to come to the Junior Worlds and be in the top five," Richaud said, "but after the compulsory dance, it was not possible. You can't expect to be at the top in your first year."

Full article.

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