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HQ PROFILE: LESLIE GRAHAM I’m the manager of synchronized

skating. I work with the grass-roots syn- chronized skating programs through the teams competing as part of Team USA. I also spend a great deal of time work- ing on our synchronized skating camps, as well as coaches’ education. My goal is to see synchronized skating become an Olympic sport! What do you like to do in your spare

time? I enjoy working out, spending time with family and friends, skating and cheering on Boston sports teams. What would people be surprised to know about you? I ran

  soon.


What do you cherish most? My family, friends and my What is your favorite part of the job? I enjoy the opportunity

to work with so many great people. I have been involved with synchronized skating for almost 20 years, and I love sharing my passion for the sport. Talk about your family. I was born in a suburb of Massachu-

setts and raised by my father, John, and mother, Bunny. I have an older brother who is a high school English teacher, as well as a football referee and lacrosse coach. My family was always supportive of my skating and attended nearly all of the compe- titions I skated and/or coached in. What’s your ideal vacation? I love the beach, so anywhere

that is warm!

General manager Dot Lischick welcomes a large gathering inside the Colorado Springs World Arena Ice Hall, which has been named an official U.S. Olympic training site.


The U.S. Olympic Committee has designated the Colorado

   “We’re thrilled to announce the World Arena Ice Hall as a new

U.S. Olympic Training Site in partnership with U.S. Figure Skating,” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said. “Colorado Springs has a long and  Arena’s continued support of America’s elite athletes.” The World Arena Ice Hall is the training home to dozens of world-

 NCAA Division I Colorado College men’s hockey team. With two sheets of ice (one Olympic, one NHL), three jump harnesses, video analysis and a ballet studio, the complex offers a comprehensive off- and on- ice training program that has attracted athletes from across the U.S. and the world. “It takes strong partnerships, top-rated coaches, elite-level skat- ers and dedicated staff to earn this designation,” Dot Lischick, general manager of the Colorado Springs World Arena and Ice Hall, said. “We are proud of our ongoing commitment to excellence and the rec- ognition of our efforts by the USOC.”

EVORA AND LADWIG END DECADE-LONG PARTNERSHIP Several partnership and coaching changes have made news this

spring, with the announcement of Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig end- ing their decade-long partnership topping the list.   mid-April that Evora is retiring from competitive skating, while Ladwig will  Evora and Ladwig trained in Ellenton, Fla., under coaches Jim Peter-

son, Lyndon Johnston and Alison Smith. They competed at 10 consecutive U.S. Figure Skating Championships, dating back to 2003, and medaled  the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, where they placed 10th. “Thank you to Amanda, my fellow Olympian, for partnering with me

and for sharing in so many amazing experiences over the last decade,” Ladwig said. “Thank you to our coaches, fans and U.S. Figure Skating for their constant support and belief in Amanda and me.” Evora and Ladwig represented the U.S. at two World Champion- ships (2010, ’11) and competed in the ISU Grand Prix Series for six seasons, winning bronze at 2010 Rostelecom Cup. Evora will focus on graduating this summer with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of South Florida, as well as staying active in skating through coaching and other activities. “I’d like to thank Mark for living our skating dreams together,” Evora said. “With a steady rise, we enjoyed a decorated career. As Mark fur- thers his skating career, I am supportive of his endeavors.” Yankowskas and Reagan unite Former U.S. pairs champion Caitlin Yankowskas has teamed up with

2011 U.S. junior pairs champion Joshua Reagan. Yankowskas and Reagan tried out shortly after Reagan split from

previous partner Ashley Cain. Cain and Reagan placed sixth at the 2012 U.S. Championships. Yankowskas, who has not competed since placing sixth at the 2011 World Championships with John Coughlin, had been waiting for the right partner to become available. She believes that Rea-

6 MAY 2012

gan is her match. “When he came up and we started tryouts, I said, ‘Holy moly,’”

Yankowskas said in an interview. “I knew in my gut he was the right choice.” The duo will train in Canton, Mich., under Johnny Johns. Marina

Zoueva will serve as their choreographer and David Kirby will be their secondary coach. Hubbell returns to competition Ice dancer Keiffer Hubbell, who left competitive skating following the 2010–11 season, announced that he’s back and will compete next season with Anastasia Olson. Hubbell won the U.S. pewter medal with sister Madison in 2009 and 2011. Olson was the 2011 U.S. junior ice dance pewter medalist with Jordan Cowan. She and Cowan parted ways soon after the 2012  senior level. The new team will train at the Detroit Skating Club under coaches

Pasquale Camerlengo, Anjelika Krylova, Massimo Scali, Natalia Annenko and Liz Punsalan.

Congemi to coach Hicks Courtney Hicks, the 2011 U.S. junior champion, is now training with

coach Ken Congemi at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, Calif. She will continue to receive input from former primary coach John Nicks and choreographer Phillip Mills. “I want all the positive coaching I can get to help me reach my full

potential,” Hicks said. “I chose Ken as my directing coach due to his excel- lent technical skills and international experience with numerous skaters.” Hicks, who placed sixth at the 2011 World Junior Championships, suf-

fered a tibia fracture last October at a Junior Grand Prix (JGP) event in Italy after winning gold at JGP Australia the previous month. The injury, which re- quired surgery, sidelined Hicks for the remainder of the 2012 season. She re- sumed training in February after receiving a clean bill of health from doctors.

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