Two local pairs skaters competed at the Olympics in their first international competition.
Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig have been skating together for eight years; they skate at Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex in the Tampa Bay area.
Evora is 25 and currently taking a break from University of South Florida for competition. Ladwig, 29, just had his first child last September.
Before they compete they have a routine that they do. “Routine is one of the things that make us really develop over these 8 years,” Ladwig said.
He said that they are a number of exercises that they do in order that they call “pillar to pillar.”
To earn their place on the Olympic team they won the silver medal at the U.S. Nationals.
This was the highest they had ever placed.
Going into the Games they were ranked 18 out of the 20 teams and their goal was getting in the top half and they succeed in doing that by placing 10th out of 20 teams.
The scores of the judges are questionable though, other teams fell while Evora and Ladwig skated a flawless short program and only a few mistakes in the long.
Someone on Facebook commented on this by posting their status saying, “There is just something wrong when you skate a clean program, but yet another pair falls twice and manages to receive 10 points higher.”
When asked how they felt about this Ladwig replies, “My performance wasn’t flawless.”
He is referring to the triple toe jump that he doubled in the long program.
He said he was very frustrated by this but can move on from this to the World Championship and maybe break a personal best if he can complete the jump.
Evora talks about Worlds too that they will compete against the same teams and no one knows how the marks will go.
“We can’t really have control how other people are judged,” Evora said. “To us we were completely happy to see that we had beaten our personal best by 22 points.” Evora was also very happy that they accomplished their goal and said they still have room for improvement.
“There isn’t any higher place and this is the place to go for your best and we put it all on the table,” Ladwig said.
Ladwig’s favorite part of the Games was all the different people being in one place and getting to know them.
“We made friends with bobsledders from our own country but we also made good friends with speed skaters from the Netherlands,” he said.
“One of my favorite moments was personally at the opening ceremony when we got to march out to the arena,” Evora said.
She said they walked underneath the arena a whole lap before they marched in front of everyone. “Every time we had another ten steps we would start screaming ‘USA, USA!’” She said.
Ladwig said that this motivated them to skate as well as they did.
They also got to catch some of the other sports too. Ladwig got to see a curling match and the start of the bobsled men’s competition with his family. He also saw the USA vs. Switzerland hockey game.
“I was telling everyone I must be a lucky charm, literally the first couple of events I went to go see USA won everything,” Evora said.
She saw Shani Davis win gold and Chad Hedrick win bronze in speed skating in the men’s 1000 meters.
She also saw Evan Lysacek win gold in men’s figure skating and USA beat Norway in hockey.
“Mark and I have always taken things a year at a time,” Evora said. She also said after Worlds they will take a break.
Then they will ask themselves like they do every year, “Can we still push the outer limits of our ability? Do we still want to skate?” Evora said. “And take it from there.”
Posted February 25 2010 at 12:03 am
The Minaret: http://theminaretonline.com/2010/02/25/article9686