Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Weaver, Poje move one step closer to Vancouver

There were no Thanksgiving celebrations this year for Canadian ice dance bronze medalists and two-time world competitors Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje. They were training in the United States during Canadian Thanksgiving in October and training in Canada last week when Americans were enjoying their turkeys. It's okay; they don't need a special meal to make them thankful that a bronze medal at Skate Canada helped improve their chances of earning Canada's second ice dance spot for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

"We've been really working our tails off this year. Of course, we know there are only two spots," says Weaver, who readily acknowledges the first dance spot is going to two-time world medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. "Having that motivation really drove us to work so hard. Getting a medal at our Grand Prix was a huge success. It's a great token to know that our improvement is being noticed."

This is the fourth season together for Weaver, 20, and Poje, 22. The possibility of making the Canadian Olympic team took a huge step forward last June when the Texas-born Weaver became a Canadian citizen.

"Canada is the most embracing and supportive country and federation to the athletes," she says. "It's amazing the preparations that are going on right now. There's such a buzz about the Olympics everywhere you go.

"I think we got a little tiny bit of a taste of what it would be like at Skate Canada. It's been a while since we've done an international at home. The crowd was amazing. The best audience that I think I've ever had in my life. Everyone was supporting us.

"It was really exciting and it got us all fired up for what the Olympics would be like. I don't want to get ahead of myself. We're still taking each day at a time. We have a really big job to do."

Helping Weaver and Poje along the way are their two coaches. The couple divide their time between Toronto, where they train with 10-time Canadian ice dance champion Shae-Lynn Bourne, and Detroit, where they're coached by Pasquale Camerlengo.

Full article.

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