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Gao Makes World Team

Christina Gao

Christina Gao finished fifth in senior ladies at U. S. Nationals with a score of 156.53, finishing fifth in both the short and long programs to make the U. S. international team.

“My goal was just to do my best at Nationals and make the Junior Worlds team,” she said. “This was my first season in seniors at Nationals so I wasn’t expecting to make the Olympics. I didn’t have any of that pressure. I want to skate at the Olympics some day but that’s far away.”

Gao included a triple toe-triple toe combination, double Axel and triple flip in her short program. In her long program, Gao had three combinations including a triple toe-triple toe, triple flip-double toe-double loop, and triple Salchow-double toe. Her solo jumps included two double Axels, triple Lutz and triple flip.

Gao won the bronze medal at the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final in Japan after winning two bronze medals at the ISU Junior Grand Prixs in Torun, Poland and in Istanbul, Turkey.

“I didn’t expect to go to the Final at all,”” she said. “At the beginning of the season, I didn’t have any assignments. Then I got one and did well and then I got two and made the Final. This was the first time I skated internationally and I had never traveled overseas.. Junior Grand Prixs are a lot different than skating in the U.S. I really liked being on the team.”

Gao started skating when she was seven. “A girl in my neighborhood was a skater and my parents signed me up for group lessons,” Gao recalled.

She had landed her first triple jump, a toe loop, by the time she was 12 and has since mastered all the triples except the triple Axel.

“I’m working a lot on the triple toe-triple toe combination,” she said. “It’s fairly consistent. I’ve also landed a few triple flip-triple toes.”

Brian Orser coaches Gao, who trains at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club along with such notables as Yu-Na Kim and Adam Rippon. She normally practices for three hours a day, six days a week. Gao also has a dance class for an hour a week and two hours of conditioning work off ice.

“I was skating in northern Kentucky and there’s not that much ice time available there,” Gao said. “My father thought that the best place to train was in Toronto so I wrote Brian and asked to come. I first came for a visit over a year ago and liked it a lot. I knew I could improve a lot more here.”

“Brian’s a great coach,” she continued. “He’s very supportive and encouraging.”

“It’s great skating with Adam and Yu-Na,” she added. “I really look up to them and I’ve learned a ton of stuff just by watching them work on things, especially presentation and how to train.”

Both of Gao’s 2009-10 programs were new for the season. David Liu choreographed her short program using “Morning Passages” by Philip Glass.

“Brian said that David was coming to Toronto, so let’s use him,” Gao said. “It’s a really serious program.”

David Wilson choreographed her long program to “La Fille Mal Gardée” by Ferdinand Herold. “It’s cute and fun,” Gao said.

Her exhibition program is to “Walking on Sunshine”, choreographed by Wilson. “He had five songs and he asked me to pick and I chose that one,” she said. “I really like the song.”

“I like to skate to all kinds of music,” she said. “I change both programs every year because I like to try something different. I’d like to try a Spanish program sometime.”

The 15-year-old learned the piano when she was younger and enjoys listening to all kinds of music.

Gao takes classes through an on line school in Cincinnati, Ohio and is currently in tenth grade. “It’s a lot easier because you can study any time,” she said. “Math is my favorite subject and I always get straight A’s.”

“I’ve always wanted to be a doctor,” she continued, “probably in sports medicine. I like to watch Grey’s Anatomy on TV a lot.”

Gao also likes to read and chat on her computer.

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