COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Rachael Flatt announced today she will begin training with Justin Dillon, Lynn Smith and Sergei Ponomarenko at three ice rinks in the Palo Alto, Calif., area as she begins coursework at Stanford University in late September.
“I’m looking forward to the beginning of my academic endeavors and my training in northern California,” Flatt said. “‘m excited to work with Justin and Lynn and eventually compete at the U.S. Championships that will take place near my new training sites.”
Flatt will train under Smith and Dillon at Sharks Ice San Jose, the official practice venue of the 2012 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Sharks Ice Oakland and Ice Oasis in Redwood City, Calif.
Dillon rounded out his 12-year domestic and international competitive career in 2005. In addition to coaching, Dillon serves as a national technical specialist and on the U.S. Figure Skating Athletes Advisory Committee. Smith, a former national and international-level competitor, has 27 years of coaching experience in the Bay Area. Representing the Soviet Union and the Unified team, Ponomarenko and ice dancing partner Marina Klimova won three Olympic medals (bronze in 1984, silver in ’88, gold in ’92), three World titles and four European championships.
“The Bay Area has a rich history of national, World and Olympic champions,” Dillon and Smith said. “We look forward to helping Rachael grow as an artist and athlete. We are all enthusiastic and sure she will thrive in her new community.”
For the last 10 years, Flatt has worked with Tom Zakrajsek and Becky Calvin at the Broadmoor Skating Club in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Flatt’s accomplishments under the guidance of Zakrajsek and Calvin include winning the 2010 U.S. and 2008 World Junior titles, earning three silver medals at the U.S. Championships and claiming four silver medals in the Grand Prix of series. Flatt, a three-time member of the U.S. World Team, enjoyed her best finish at the World Figure Skating Championships in 2009, when she placed fifth. Her win at the 2010 U.S. Championships helped her to earn a trip to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she finished seventh.
“With regard to my skating, there are so many people who have been part of my team,” Flatt said. “I’d like to thank Tom and Becky especially for being part of that team from the beginning.”
Photo courtesy of Leah Adams
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