When Deanna Stellato and Nate Bartholomay announced their new partnership in 2016, many in the skating world were taken by surprise. Bartholomay was a U.S. National medalist and Olympian; but at 27, his skating career was in doubt after partner Felicia Zhang retired in 2014 and a subsequent partnership did not work out. Stellato, for her part, was just returning to elite-level skating at 33, after an unheard-of 16-year absence from the sport. She also had no previous pairs experience. Yet somehow, this unlikely duo joined forces to become a pairs team. Continue reading “Interview with Stellato/Bartholomay (June 2018)”
Last season was full of highs & lows for U.S. pairs team Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier. They came back from injury to win their first U.S. National title, but had a rough performance at the World Championships. It wasn’t easy coming to terms with the disappointment at Worlds; however, Denney/Frazier are now ready to put the past behind them and move forward to the Olympic season. In my new interview with them for Figure Skaters Online, Denney/Frazier discuss the difficulties of last season and the changes they’ve made in their skating for the new season. Check it out!
16-year-old Emmy Ma made a splash at this year’s U.S. Nationals, where she won the short program in the Junior ladies event with a lovely performance. Facing a field of mostly younger rivals, Emmy’s skating stood out for her musicality, skating skills, and maturity. Although she faltered a bit in the long program, Emmy captured the Junior ladies pewter medal at Nationals. One month later, she won her first-ever international competition, the Junior ladies event at Challenge Cup in the Netherlands. Continue reading “Interview with Emmy Ma (June 2017)”
Last season was challenging for American pair Marissa Castelli/Mervin Tran. They struggled with injury and inconsistency during the fall of 2016. And although they regrouped to win the silver medal at U.S. Nationals in January 2017, the U.S. Figure Skating Association did not name the couple to Four Continents, Worlds, or World Team Trophy.
However, when I spoke with Castelli/Tran recently, they said there was “a silver lining” to the challenges they faced last year. Because their season ended early, they’ve had lots of time to think about their direction for the future and what they need to work on. Castelli/Tran now look forward with a renewed sense of purpose. Recently, they took some time to chat with me about their thoughts on last season, their training since U.S. Nationals, their new long program, and their goals for next year. Check out my new interview with them for Figure Skaters Online!
This afternoon, Ashley Cain/Tim LeDuc will take the ice for their first U.S. Nationals together. This unlikely duo teamed up just 7 months ago, after both took a long break from pairs skating. Despite their time away, Ashley/Tim immediately clicked as partners and have had surprising success in their first season together, winning a bronze medal at Golden Spin of Zagreb. Ashley/Tim recently spoke with me about their new partnership, their season so far, and their hopes for Nationals and beyond. Check out my interview with them for Figure Skaters Online!
In April 2015, Haven Denney & Brandon Frazier were at a high point in their career. The young American pair had just won a silver medal at U.S. Nationals and competed at their first World Championships. They were already determined to make the World team again the next year. But then, disaster struck. Haven sustained a serious injury to her right knee on April 22, 2015. Surgery followed. It was seven long months before Haven was cleared to even do single jumps. And Haven & Brandon lost an entire season of competition.
What is it really like for an athlete to come back from such a serious injury? In this interview, Haven & Brandon talk in depth about their journey back to world-level competition. We also discuss their early career, their recent coaching switch, their plans for the upcoming season, and more. Continue reading “Interview with Denney/Frazier”
U.S. bronze medalists reveal new SP music; discuss plans for upcoming season
In mid-2014, Marissa Castelli and Mervin Tran joined forces to start a new pairs partnership. Both had been very successful with previous partners—Marissa won Olympic team bronze in 2014 and Mervin won World bronze in 2012. However, both felt they still had more to accomplish in the sport. Last year was Castelli/Tran’s first full competitive season together. They had some ups and downs, but won the bronze medal at U.S. Nationals and silver at U.S. International Classic.
Recently, I spoke with Marissa & Mervin on the phone. The U.S. bronze medalists shared their thoughts on last season, their impressions from Boston Worlds, their plans for the upcoming season (including their new short program music!), their perspective on competing in the Olympics, and much more! Not only that, we discussed Marissa’s costumes and Mervin’s quirky sense of humor. 🙂 Continue reading “Interview with Castelli/Tran”