Thursday, February 4, 2010

Russian Figure Skaters in Abbotsford ARC

Russian Olympic figure skating pairs Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov work on a death spiral element during a training session at the Abbotsford Recreation Centre on Wednesday. Mike and I got their autographs, it was exciting to meet them up close in person and speak to them.

Russian Olympic figure skaters hit the ice at Abbotsford Recreation Centre to a chorus of oohs and aahs from spectators Monday morning.

A trio of Russian pairs skaters – Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov, Maria Mukhortova and Maxim Trankov, and Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov – spent most of their time ironing out details of choreography and footwork, but wowed local fans with occasional jumps, lifts and spins.

The Russian team will train at ARC for more than two weeks (Feb. 1-17), and arriving in Canada in advance of the Olympics holds several benefits for the athletes. Adjusting to the 11-hour time change and the local climate is important, and the training camp also offers the skaters a chance to decompress following the stress of recent European championships.

Spectators can expect the cast of Russian figure skaters at ARC to expand every couple of days. Three more groups of ice dancers and men’s singles competitors are slated to arrive on Feb. 3, 6 and 11.

The Russian athletes will participate in a public meet-and-greet event on Sunday, Feb. 7, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the gymnasium at ARC.

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