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Sutan Scores Highest Finish for Thailand

Tammy Sutan

After Thailand was devastated by a tsunami in December 2004, the country had to postpone its national championships until March 2005. But the country still sent two skaters to the 2005 World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. One of them, Tammy Sutan, finished 21st, the highest finish ever for a Thai skater. “It was a new opportunity for me,” Sutan said. “I was very proud to represent Thailand because my parents emigrated from there.” Sutan later won the Thai Nationals and expects to do two Junior Grand Prix events in the fall.

The 17-year-old was born in Los Angeles, California after her parents moved to the United States. Having previously competed in the U. S. Nationals, her appearance at the 2005 Junior Worlds in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada was her first international event. “It was the coolest thing ever,” she said. “It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed every minute of it. I just tried to do my best and see what I could do. To make the final was just awesome.”

Sutan was six when she started skating. “I started skating because a doctor told my parents that my legs were uneven and I needed to take sports to strengthen them,” she said. “I was a very active little girl. I tried gymnastics, basketball, and swimming. I liked watching skating and hockey and thought about trying hockey, but I was a girlie girl. I started ballet when I was five and still take classes.”

“I like jumping a lot,” said Sutan, who only landed her first triple jump, a triple salchow, when she was 15. “The double axel is my favorite,” she exclaimed. “That’s my best jump. I hope to have a consistent triple loop by next season.” At Junior Worlds, Sutan landed double axel/double toe, double lutz/double toe and double flip/double toe but no triples in her free program.

Sutan practices for two to three hours a day six days a week, with another hour in off ice training. She trains with Tammy Gambill in Riverside, California. Phillip Mills choreographs Sutan’s programs, but she picks all her own music. For the 2004-05 season, she used “Libertango” by Astor Piazzolla performed by Bond for her short program and Tchaikovski’s “Swan Lake” for the free skate. “Both of the programs were old,” she admitted. “I wanted to keep Swan Lake because I liked the dress and I picked the tango because I wanted to do something non-classical. I usually like to do classical because I skate best to classical music. For this coming season, I’m keeping the same short program and my long program will be “Nessun Dorma”. ” Off ice, she listens to mainly pop and hip-hop music.

When she’s not skating, Sutan likes to hang out with her friends but stated, “Shopping is my main thing.” She likes to read “whatever is interesting” and collects items from each competition. She also swims and plays tennis. Sutan has one pet, a dog named Taco, a chihuahua-doberman mix.

Sutan is a junior in high school, where her best subject is math. “My favorite subject is history,” she noted. “I like to learn about things in the past.” She plans to study psychology in college. “I want to be a sports psychologist after I finish skating,” she said. “I want to work with up and coming skaters.” Currently, she volunteers at local elementary schools in after school programs to help students with their homework.

But college plans are still a ways in the future. “I plan to skate for a while,” Sutan said. “Going to the Olympics would be nice. I like traveling the world for skating and I treasure every place I go to.”

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Skate Today was created in November 2004 to showcase the people of the skating world, skaters and coaches and others, who make figure skating and ice dancing a pleasure to watch for fans from around the world. The goal was to create a site that would give viewers an insight into the personalities of the people involved in this sport and to give you a more personal connection when watching them live at an event or on the television. Our staff knows how much time and dedication is put into this sport and that's why Skate Today was created.

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