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HIGH-FLYING AARON SOARING TOWARD SOCHI


by SARAH S. BRANNEN Max Aaron is driving to a workout at the Olym-


pic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., af- ter three grueling, quad-filled sessions on the ice. Tere’s a lot of traffic and he’s running late. He drums his fingers impatiently on the steering wheel, and once he parks at the center, cuts across the park- ing lot and goes through an open window straight into the weight room. Tere, trainer Amanda Wit- tenmyer puts the 2013 U.S. champion through a taxing strength and conditioning session. Aaron, 21, is intense and driven. He likes to plan and be in control of his life. Back in the car af- ter the workout, Aaron says he wants to be a stock- broker someday. And a real estate developer. And a sports agent. “All at the same time,” he said, brimming with


mischievous humor. “And I want to retire at 35.” And then what? “Play golf and spend time with my kids. I want


to get married when I’m 27 and have four kids.” While Aaron keeps it light off the ice, he has se-


rious plans for next season: to put three quads into his free skate and two in the short, to defend his U.S. title, to go to the Olympics and to stand on the podium in Sochi, Russia. To further his on-ice goals, Aaron headed to


California immediately after the World Champion- ships to work with hall-of-fame choreographer Lori Nichol on his new free skate to Carmen. “I wanted a piece of music that is very relat-


able,” Aaron said. “I’ve always wanted to skate to Carmen. I’ve always been told I didn’t have the emotional ability to skate to it, but I feel I have more to show. I’m not just a jumper; I can perform more and feed off the crowd every single time. I love the work that Lori has done.” “Since nationals, we have continued to work


on his constantly developing components,” Aaron’s coach Tom Zakrajsek added. “I think that was ev- ident at Worlds in the scoring. Lori has created an incredible long program this year which will defi- nitely turn a lot of heads and change opinions about Max’s skating and artistic ability.” Pasquale Camerlengo choreographed Aaron’s


new short program. “I’m extremely happy that I’m working with


U.S. champion Max Aaron knows that it will take a monumental effort to qualify for the Olympics and place in Sochi. He believes his demanding programs this sea- son give him the ammunition to accomplish those goals.


Pasquale,” Aaron said. “He has been such an inspi- ration to me, and I think now we can open up and do something different as well.” Aaron says the jump layout for the free skate


includes three quads: two Salchows and a toe loop. “It’s extremely difficult,” he said. “Te new pro- gram is built for 3 quads; it’s still back-loaded and


SKATING 23


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