Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Flatt and Nichol hope to create Olympic moments

Lori Nichol saw something different in Rachael Flatt's skating last week.

"The music is really driving her," said the Toronto-based choreographer, who has worked with the teen (and several of her top U.S. rivals) for years.

"She's like a firecracker out there."

Maybe it's the adrenaline. Since placing fifth at her first senior worlds in late March, it's been a mixture of schoolwork, training and vacation for the two-time U.S. silver medalist, who turns 17 on July 21st.

"We did my new short at the end of May, right after school got out about a month ago," Flatt said. "Between getting choreography, going on vacation and Champs Camp [June 11-14, in her training town of Colorado Springs] it's been fairly busy.

"I think I'll be home for the rest of the summer except for one week in Steamboat [Colorado] for high-altitude training. There will be a lot of beneficial time to refine and add details to my programs."

Flatt is thrilled with how the two efforts, a short program to Louis Prima's Big Band anthem "Sing, Sing, Sing" and free skate to Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini," are shaping up.

"I'm doing my long with Lori this week. It's going really well," she said. "We're just starting to figure everything out.

"I think [the programs] show two totally different sides of my personality. One is the romantic and very strong part of my personality, and the other is bubbly and happy and lots of fun. It's a good contrast."

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