Friday, October 9, 2009

Reed Joins Japaridze to Compete for Georgia

The ice dancing world now has a third Reed sibling competing internationally. Allison Reed, the younger sister of Japan's Cathy and Chris Reed, has teamed up with Otar Japaridze to skate for Georgia.

The new couple placed 12th in their first international competition, the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany in September 2009, qualifying the team for the Olympic Games and a chance to compete against her siblings.

"We'll be doing some other competitions," Japaridze said. "The Georgian Federation is happy to have a dance team."

"My birthday was June 8, so I was just old enough to be in the Olympics," Reed noted. "I had to be 15 by July 1."

"We hope to keep going as far as we can," Japaridze said. "Many teams will retire or finish competing after the Olympics, so we will have a chance to get in the top!"

Japaridze began started when he was seven because both of his parents were skated. He competed in men until he was 15 and then switched to dance.

He has competed with three different partners at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships: Marina Sheltsina (21st in 2004), Ekaterina Zaikina (21st in 2006 and 16th in 2007), and Isabella Tobias (14th in 2008).

Reed started skating when she was three. "My Mom was on a synchro team and my brother and sister were dancing so I was always at the rink," she said. "I started out in singles but I always wanted to do dance because I wanted to be like them. They've always been my role models and it's great to be able to go to them for help."

She was always dancing off ice too. "I was in the New Jersey Ballet when I was five or six," she said. "I still love to go to the Broadway Dance Center and do all the dances there."

The couple started skating together in May 2009. "I've always been looking for a partner," Reed said. "We had a mini tryout a few years ago but I was too small. When I finally grew a little taller, we decided to give it another try since we already knew each other."

Full article.

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