Saturday, October 3, 2009

Looking for Mr. Right — Skater Tera Findlay needs a partner

Though her competitive career is on hold, Tera Findlay has no plans to skate into the sunset.

Having lost her ice dance partner, Benoit Richaud of France, the Echo Bay native has returned home, likely until March when she hopes to find a new figure skater to team up with.

By then, the 2010 Olympics will be history.

But for Findlay, now 19, the quest to find a suitable partner carries no guarantees.

And so, for now, for the first time since she began to chase her figure skating dream, Findlay is staring at more questions than answers.

"I can't even explain how hard this is. This is unfamiliar to me," said Findlay, who moved to France in hopes of furthering her career in the fall of 2007. "I really miss skating. I'm very, very, very concerned about my career and it scares me."

Months after teaming up with Richaud, the duo grabbed a second- place finish in ice dance among junior skaters at the 2008 French nationals.

They qualified for junior worlds, but without Findlay's release from Skate Canada, were unable to attend.

The following season, in her first appearance at the sport's highest level, Findlay teamed with Richaud to place third among senior skaters at the 2009 French nationals.

They went on to the European championships and wound up 18th. After that, they placed 10th at the junior worlds and, earlier that season, added third and fourth-place showings at Junior Grand Prix events to their resume.

"It was a great season," Findlay recalled.

But it would be their last together.

Findlay said Richaud "had some trouble" with the duo's coaches in France.

He eventually suggested the pair move to the United States.

Though sad to leave France -- "I loved it there," Findlay said -- she was happy to be moving closer to home.

The two wound up in Detroit, training at the same club that has produced numerous renowned skaters, including the ice dance team of Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto.

But arriving in mid-July, they were there for barely a month.

Full article.

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