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Skate Today

Rogers Re-Dedicated to Skating

Shaun Rogers

After the USA’s Shaun Rogers placed 16th in his first try in the senior men’s division at U. S. Nationals in 2003, he went into a funk. “After Nationals, I wasn’t really motivated to skate,” Rogers said. “I was in a lull. When I missed Nationals in 2004, I took a couple of months off to decide whether I wanted to continue. I decided I really wanted to skate and see how far I could go. My goal is to continue to improve under Code of Points and move up at Nationals. I’ll keep skating as long as I’m still into it and want to do it. If I feel I’m making myself skate, I’ll stop.”

The resurgent Rogers placed sixth in seniors at U. S. Nationals in 2005, then capped off the season by finishing eighth at the 2005 World Junior Figure Skating Championships, a substantial improvement from his 16th place finish in 2002. That was quite a feat considering that he was suffering from bursitis in his right hip and other injuries to his left shin and foot and had to have shots for pain before and after he skated. “That was the first time I competed while I was injured,” he said. “But I didn’t have time to take a break and heal.”

On his way up, Rogers won the U. S. novice men’s title in 2000 and earned the silver medal in juniors in 2002. Internationally, he won a silver medal at the Belgrade Sparrow in 2004 and a bronze at the Sofia Cup in 2003. He was fifth at his other ISU Junior Grand Prix in 2004 at the Harghita Cup and missed the JGP Final. “It was hard going back and forth between the junior program and the senior program for U. S. Nationals,” he said. “My junior program was actually harder technically with the three jump combination.” He used a triple salchow-double toe loop-double loop. “I’m working on a triple flip-triple toe loop-triple loop and have landed it in practice,” he added.

Rogers was seventh in both the short and long program at Junior Worlds and actually scored the highest technical element score of the event with a clean quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop to start his long program. Rogers was also fourth in his qualifying round, landing the quad toe loop and the three-jump combination. In his short, Rogers’ combination was triple axel-double toe loop.

The 20-year-old landed his first triple axel three years ago and has been landing a quad toe loop for the last two years. “It was just last season that it’s been consistent,” Rogers noted. “Now it’s so solid, I always do a quad toe-triple toe and may add a double toe to it. I’ve been trying quad salchow, loop and flip out of harness at home. I’ve landed the quad salchow a couple of times and tried a quad axel in harness.”

Sports were always a passion for Rogers. He played as a goalie and an attacker in soccer, as a guard in basketball and as a second baseman and center fielder in baseball in local recreational leagues. One day his elementary school had an ice skating party. He liked skating and decided to try group lessons at the age of eight.

The coach recommended that he take private lessons and he began working with Trish Sylva, with whom he trained until he was 13. At that point he moved to the University of Delaware to work with Pam Gregory. Rogers trains for two hours a day on ice and an hour off ice five days a week. He also rollerblades and runs.

Gregory and Nathan Birch are his choreographers, but Rogers does his own show numbers, like last year’s program to “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls. Last season, he used Shostakovich’s “Symphony No. 5” for his short and the soundtrack of “The Matrix Reloaded” for the long. “Last year, my short was new but it was the second season for the long. Next season, I’ll have two new programs. I always changed one in the past, but now for the Code of Points, I need to do two new programs from scratch as the old ones weren’t built for it.”

“Usually Nathan and I listen to music and pick four or five pieces, then Pam has the final say,” Rogers explained. “Last season, Pam suggested we use something classical for the short because I had done good classical programs in the past. Nathan and I thought the long fit my style.” For the 2005-06 season, Rogers plans to use music from the “Cinderella Man” soundtrack for the short and “Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances” for the long.

In general, Rogers said, “I like upbeat music, fast and powerful. I listen to a lot of old Russian composers.” Off ice, he listens to rock music and enjoys bands such as Green Day and Ultrabridge. “I play the guitar and sing by myself,” he added. “I also sing in the school choir.”

For fun, he likes to hang out with his friends, especially people from the rink, and play video games. “I’m really into Warcraft 3, Counterstrike and other online computer strategy games,” Rogers said. “I’m really competitive and I’m constantly signed on.” He has one unusual hobby, collecting Smurf figurines, often buying unusual ones on eBay. He usually gives the other toys that he receives from fans to his coach for her daughter or to kids at the rink or charities.

Rogers takes a few university courses at the University of Delaware, usually in the summer and fall. He plans to major in sports medicine and athletic training to aid in his goal of becoming a coach. He now coaches skating in New Jersey for a couple of hours on the weekends. “I really like to coach,” he noted.

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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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