Wednesday, September 23, 2009

U.S. ice dance teams announce coaching change

Piper Gilles and Zach Donohue, the junior bronze medalists at the 2009 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships, and senior ice dancing team Jane Summersett and Todd Gilles announced today they have ended their two- and three-year professional relationships, respectively, with coach Patti Gottwein of the Broadmoor Skating Club in Colorado Springs, Colo., and will train with Elizabeth Punsalan Swallow at the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

In addition to their U.S. junior bronze medal, Gilles and Donohue collected the gold and silver medals at their 2008 Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series assignments in the Czech Republic and South Africa, respectively.

"We want to thank everyone who has worked with us the past couple years -- they have been amazing," Piper Gilles said. "But we felt we needed a change of direction with our skating. We need some extra help with mental discipline and our connection on the ice."

Summersett and Gilles garnered bronze at the 2008 Nebelhorn Trophy and finished sixth at each of the last two U.S. Championships.

"We felt we needed stimulation and a change in order to continue making improvements," said Todd, who began training with Gottwein in 2001 with former partner Trina Pratt. "Everyone in Colorado has been great. We want to thank Patti for all her help."

Both teams will remain members of the Broadmoor Skating Club and will continue working with the club's choreographers, Tom Dickson and Christopher Dean.

Punsalan Swallow competed in ice dancing with then-partner-and-now-husband Jerod Swallow. Together, the couple won five U.S. championships and twice competed in the Olympic Winter Games.

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