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U.S. JUNIOR CHAMPIONS – LADIES by KAMA KORVELA


Tere are few skaters — at any age or level — that possess both polish and power. Tere are even fewer skaters who can master a technically difficult program and make it look like an effort- less dance across the ice. In the junior ladies short program at the


2013 Prudential U.S. Championships in Omaha, Neb., Polina Edmunds showed the skating world that she could do both. Dressed in a traditional Russian gypsy costume, she pranced, spun and leaped, resembling a prima ballerina at the Bol- shoi Ballet. At the conclusion of the event, Ed- munds proved she was without question the top junior lady in the country. Te junior level is full of promising athletes,


but the 15‒year-old sophomore at Archbishop Mitty High School stands out because of her abil- ity to blend strong technical expertise with a light, almost airy presentation style. “Polina is a ferocious and precise skater,” said


Marina Klimova, the 1992 Olympic ice danc- ing champion who is Edmunds’ choreographer. “Tere is a natural ease in her body that draws your eye. In addition to her long and powerful lines, she stands out for the superb clarity of her movement.” David Glynn, who also coaches Edmunds,


echoed Klimova’s thoughts. “What separates Polina from other skaters is that she has a rare ability to be soft and delicate while skating with strength and power,” he said. “She powers into the most difficult elements and makes them look light and effortless. It’s the ulti- mate goal in skating — to take something diffi- cult and make it look easy.” Edmunds began skating at a young age in


San Jose, Calif. — home to some of the greatest figure skaters of all time, including Brian Boitano, Rudy Galindo, Charlie Tickner, Peggy Fleming, Debi Tomas and Kristi Yamaguchi. “My mother (Nina Edmunds) put me in skates on the ice when I was 21 months old and to her surprise — I walked, and walked with con- fidence,” she said. A few months later, Nina started to teach her daughter in skating lessons. “Her theory is that young children enjoy learning to skate in small groups where they can have fun and sort of compete with each other to see who can learn the movement,” Polina said. During her lessons, she not only worked on


Polina lives in a competitive household that includes her hockey-play- ing brothers James, 17; and Daniel, 11; and their dog, Domino.


Polina Edmunds jumped from sixth in 2012 to win the junior gold medal in Omaha.


36 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013


PHOTO COURTESY OF NINA EDMUNDS


JAY ADEFF/U.S. FIGURE SKATING


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