Saturday, August 1, 2009

Scion of Rodeo Family Roped into Pairs

Paige Lawrence, whose parents own a rodeo production company in Kipling, Saskatchewan, didn't set out to be a pairs skater. She actually competed in barrel racing as a youngster. But partner Rudi Sweigers found a way to get her into pairs.

"I kind of got tricked into it," Lawrence said. "Rudi had a good partner but when she left, our coach asked me to help him out since I was one of the few lefties in our club. Two weeks later, he had made some programs for us."

"I figured I'd give it a try," she continued. "It was something fun and different for me. I liked the feeling of being thrown and started to like doing pairs. When we landed a throw triple Salchow on our second week, I knew it was special."

"Paige is a great partner because she's so dedicated," Sweigers stated. "When I want to call it a day, she says, 'let's do five more.' She trains me harder than our coach. She's so gutsy. She'll do whatever I ask of her."

The couple didn't meet with instant success, placing 14th at Canadian Nationals (Junior Division) in both 2006 and 2007. However, in 2008, they won the silver medal and in 2009, they placed a surprising fourth in senior pairs.

The couple started the 2008-09 international season by placing eighth at the ISU Junior Grand Prix (JGP) in Gomel, followed by a fifth-place finish in Sheffield, England. Then they placed a very respectable fourth at the 2009 World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. It was the highest placement for Canadian athletes at Junior Worlds.

"Our main goal last season was to make the senior international team," Sweigers said, "and we accomplished that."

Full article.

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