By Matteo Morelli | Images by Robin Ritoss
Staff USA’s Christina Carreira & Anthony Ponomarenko loved a unbelievable junior profession and are on a promising journey as senior ice dancers, with a bronze at 2022 4 Continents and a latest first place on the Golden Spin Challenger Occasion in Zagreb, the place they reached new season bests. We met with them after Grand Prix of Espoo in Finland, and talked about how they discovered one another, their profession as junior and senior rivals, and their latest change of coaches and workforce.
How do you are feeling after finishing your two Grand Prix (Skate America and Grand Prix of Espoo) of this season?
Christina Carreira (CC): I feel we skated rather well right here. We put out two nice performances, they have been each fairly sturdy. We left just a few factors on the desk within the free, however total it was a greater efficiency than Sheffield, and we wish to enhance once more sooner or later.
Anthony Ponomarenko (AP): We had a really distinctive low season, I had my surgical procedure and we needed to begin late within the season so we needed to indicate stable performances in each Grand Prix occasions and I feel now we have achieved that, with a season greatest once more. I feel we trip on that momentum till the subsequent competitions and nationals, clean down every thing and maintain that onwards optimistic course.
Anthony, you touched in your surgical procedure after 4 Continents. How did it have an effect on your coaching as a workforce and the way did you get well from it?
AP: I had a reasonably large surgical procedure in February, it was a singular low season for us. It was troublesome for us to cease instantly. I labored so much on the psychological facet of issues, with a psychologist and a efficiency specialist. I got here again very slowly, improved the muscle groups and labored on what I wanted to work on. They are saying that when one accomplice has a surgical procedure, the workforce is recovering. I’m actually proud to have Christina as a accomplice, she labored very onerous after I was gone and drove all the best way to London, Ontario, daily to place the work in.
You’ve gotten been skating collectively for nearly a decade, since 2014. Anthony, I perceive it was your mom that thought that you simply and Christina could be an excellent match. Looks like she was proper!
AP: Christina was skating together with her outdated accomplice, we competed in opposition to one another at a Lake Placid Ice Dance Championship approach again within the day. From then on, my mother stored saying how good Christina was!
CC: My mum was doing the identical with me, speaking about all of the competitions he was doing! We break up with our earlier companions across the similar time. Our coach Igor Shpilband had us attempting out for a month. I had a few different trials, however I already made up my thoughts and knew that I needed to skate with him!
Your junior profession began with you reaching loads of successes, together with a silver and bronze medal at Junior Worlds, two Junior Grand Prix golds and a Junior Grand Prix Last silver medal. What are your reflections on these years, and the way did they form you because the skaters you at the moment are?
CC: Our junior years taught us easy methods to compete, it is vitally totally different than senior. In a approach, it appears like junior is a passion and senior is a full time job. We have been fortunate to compete with nice folks, and they’re nonetheless our pals to today. It was a extremely enjoyable time.
AP: It was good to develop up with skaters and to have them to nonetheless be at competitions with us. It’s nice to see that and searching again at junior it was enjoyable. We carried out nicely, it was nice to have these outcomes, and have the momentum carrying us within the senior, nevertheless it additionally taught us self-discipline and easy methods to act as an ice dance workforce. I’m completely satisfied that we had these years in junior. We miss these days, however I agree when Christina mentioned that junior is a passion and senior is a job.
In your fifth 12 months into your senior profession, you may have already collected a Grand Prix bronze medal, and a bronze on the 4 Continents occasion. The onerous work you’re placing in is there and is paying again.
CC: It takes time to construct maturity and all we require. The competitors within the U.S. is likely one of the strongest on the planet, so now we have to be good to compete for that nation. We’re nonetheless working.
In January 2021, you introduced your departing out of your long-time coach Igor Shpilband to affix the Ice Academy of Montreal (I.AM) in London, Ontario. What led to that call? What did you’re taking away with you from these years spent with him?
CC: There have been many the reason why we left, however we’ll all the time be glad about what he taught us. We wouldn’t be the skaters we’re right now if not for what he taught us. We’re very grateful to him, but additionally pleased with our new workforce of coaches at IAM and the place we at the moment are.
What’s your relationship together with your new coaches (Scott Moir, Madison Hubbell and Adrián Díaz) and teammates at I.AM?
CC: We’ve a extremely nice relationship with our coaches. We’ve a lot respect for them and we belief their imaginative and prescient, so it is vitally straightforward to work with them. We even have a extremely good relationship with the opposite skaters at IAM. They’re all tremendous good and enjoyable to journey and practice with. We’re actually fortunate to have such a optimistic and motivating coaching atmosphere.
AP: I really like the workforce now we have round us. Scott, Madison, and Adrián are unbelievable to work with and each brings a distinct power to the workforce. Being part of IAM provides us the chance to coach with among the greatest and it’s an honour to look at them work!
With the primary half of this aggressive season already accomplished, what are your goals on your subsequent competitions?
AP: We intention to make the world workforce this 12 months. The ice dance subject within the U.S. is powerful so we glance to be ready and at our greatest for the nationwide championships.