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Skate Today

B.C. Skating Pair Hope for Place in Vancouver Olympics

Jessica Miller and Ian Moram

Canadian pairs skaters Jessica Miller and Ian Moram are doing everything they can to earn a spot in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. For the last four years, they have been training in Vancouver to hone the skills needed to reach a high podium finish at Canadian Nationals and compete at the Games. The skaters have finished in the top eight at Canadians every year since they started competing together. This season, they competed in nearby Victoria in their first Grand Prix event, finishing seventh.

Skating is a family affair for Miller, who first took to the ice at age six. “My mother is a figure skating coach, my father is a hockey coach and my brother plays junior hockey in Parry Sound,” she said. “I started just for fun because it was a way for my mother to be able to watch me when she was working.”

Moram began skating when he was five. “I joined CanSkate but only for a year,” he said. “I spent all my time at the rink since all three of my older sisters skated. One day when I was ten I told my mom I wanted to skate again.” Both skaters competed in singles up to novice. Moram was pre-novice provincial champion in Quebec and went to the Canada Games one year, but Miller didn’t reach the national level.

Miller started pairs at 15, while Moram began at 17. “It is fun to skate with someone,” Moram stated. “Also there are so many elements in pairs, not just jumps and spins.” “That’s really all I’m used to anymore,” Miller added. “It’s hard to remember what it felt like to skate singles.” Miller first competed with Kevin Garrett placing 11th at U. S. Nationals in 1997 and 12th in 1998. She then skated with Jeffrey Weiss, placing sixth in senior pairs in 2000 and seventh in 2001. Moram competed at Canadian Nationals first with Meeran Trombley, placing sixth in juniors in 2000. He then paired with Chantal Poirier, finishing fifth at Canadians in junior pairs in 2001 and sixth in seniors in 2002, only two places behind his current coach.

The skaters began skating together in 2002. “Jessica’s coach at the time contacted my coach because she knew that he had a few pair guys in his school,” Moram recalled. “After the try-out we knew we wanted to skate together it was just a matter of where. We’ve been with Bruno for almost four years now.” They practice for at least three hours a day, five days a week on ice. “We have a personal trainer. The gym is The Performance Institute with trainers Steve Ramsbottom and Heather Petinill. We work with them two times a week for over an hour,” Moram added. “We take a lot of ballet in the summer and then ease out throughout the rest of the season.”

David Wilson choreographed their long program to music from the soundtrack of “Nouvelle France” and Marina Zoueva did their short to Santana’s “Black Magic Woman.” Skate Canada President Benoit Lavoie suggested the music for the long program while Zoueva picked the short. “We like to skate to fun music in the short and more classical in the long,” Miller said. Both skaters like to listen to classic rock. Miller’s favorite artist is Janis Joplin, while Moram’s is David Bowie.

To relax, Moram said, “We both love to camp and hike. We have about four to five overnight hiking trips per year. Last year we climbed Golden Years Mountain twice. It was physically the hardest thing we’ve ever done. I really want to hike America’s three long trails — the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide and the Pacific Crest Trail. Each would take about 3 months. “I would like to backpack in Europe and Peru one day,” Miller added. Both of the skaters now play soccer. They formed an indoor coed soccer team at Burnaby 8 rinks called the Fatty Fupas. Moram, who played basketball in high school, still occasionally plays with friends. He took karate lessons as a youngster. Moram also enjoys cycling.

The skaters also enjoy watching movies. Miller likes romantic movies and comedies, while Moram enjoys comedies. Miller also likes to read. “I have over 1000 books here in Vancouver and also at my parents in Kentucky,” she said. “I also enjoy cross-stitch and knitting.” They usually collect coffee cups from every place they visit.

Both skaters have graduated from high school. “If needed I would like to get a business degree one day,” Miller said. “I did one year of CEGEP in Montreal but stopped so I could work more,” Moram noted. “After we finish, I would like to stay in skating in some capacity,” Miller said. “I’m interested in becoming a judge and one day running my own rink.” “I would really like to get involved in another sport,” Moram stated, “adventure racing or ultra marathon, something that is extremely challenging mentally and physically.”

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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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