When Spain's Javier Fernández placed 19th at the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships, he became the first skater from that country to qualify for the Winter Olympic Games.
Fernández was only 30th at Worlds in 2008, but placed 11th at the 2009 European Championships.
"I wasn't surprised that I qualified for the Olympics," Fernández said. "After I did my programs, I felt very good."
"There's no interest in skating in Spain," he noted. "Sometimes people watch, but they don't know Spain has skaters. I'm hoping if I skate well at the Olympics, more people will be interested in skating in Spain."
"I want to do at least one more Olympics after Vancouver," he said. "Then I hope to be a coach."
Fernández started skating when he was six years old. "My sister, Laura, started skating and I went to watch her," he recalled. "When I saw her skating, I wanted to skate too." Laura competed in ladies at both Europeans and Worlds and is now competing in senior dance with a Canadian, Simon Gagnon.
The 18-year old first landed a triple jump when he was 12 - a triple Salchow. By 16, he had landed a clean triple Axel. "I tried a triple Axel one week and landed one the next week," he stated.
Fernández is now working on both the quadruple toe loop and the quadruple Salchow. "I first tried the quad Salchow last season," he stated. "This summer, I started working on the quad toe. I've landed both of them clean but not every time on every day."
"I will have the quad toe in both my programs this year," he continued. "In the short, I will have a quad toe-double toe combination and also a triple flip and a triple Axel. In the free program, I plan to have two triple Axels, a quad toe, and all the triples. Right now my combinations will be triple toe-double Axel and triple flip-triple toe, but I may change."
Nikolai Morozov coaches Fernández and choreographs all his programs. He trains at the Ice House in Hackensack, NJ.