Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Home ice for Estonian dancer at 2010 Europeans

For Estonian skater Kristian Rand, the 2010 European Figure Skating Championships will provide an opportunity to compete in his hometown when the event is held in Tallinn in January.

Rand will be skating with Caitlin Mallory, an American from Berkeley, Calif., with whom he has skated for the past year. The couple placed 14th at the 2009 European Championships and 20th at the 2009 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in their first two ISU championship competitions together.

For Mallory, the event will provide another opportunity to compete at the highest level in ice dancing.

"I decided to skate for Estonia after having a great tryout with Kristian," she continued. "For a year, I had searched for an American partner, but eventually I decided that I was willing to skate for another country, as it meant that I would have the chance to form a really great partnership. My experience so far representing Estonia has been wonderful. I have been to Tallinn twice, which is an amazingly beautiful city. I am very excited about the Europeans in Tallinn!"

Asked about what it's like skating with Rand, Mallory said, "We have a great time working together, and it is very enjoyable to train and learn as a team. Off the ice, we share a lot of similar interests, in terms of art, culture and food. On the ice, I think that our styles are very complementary of each other. Of course, as a new team, we are still developing our style and learning how to better relate to each other.

"This season, our primary goal is to show how much we can improve. Last season, we were just getting started, but now that we have some experience together, we're excited to show what more we can do. Of course, it would be amazing to make it to the Olympics, but we have plenty of other great competitions to look forward to as well, like Europeans and worlds. We would like to improve on our standings and give some new personal-best performances."

Full article.

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