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Zawadzki Shoots for the Stars.  Two-time U.S. Bronze Medalist Aims High in Boston

 by Liz Leamy

Agnes Zawadzki, the 19 year-old two-time National bronze medalist, is once again determined to make her mark at the 2014 U.S. Championships in Boston in a few weeks, hoping to score heavy hardware as well as a celebrated berth on the U.S. Olympic team.

The talented teenage contender, who hails from the Chicago area and trains in Colorado Springs with Tom Zakrajsek, seems confident and poised in terms of achieving this goal, as she possesses a potent arsenal of powerful triple jumps, fast spins and supercharged edges and connecting steps.

More than anything, however, Zawadzki is excited to be a top contender for the U.S. Olympic team.

“I’ve been working toward this pretty much all of my life,” she said in a conference call on Friday. “It is really exciting.”

Zawadzki, known to have one of the finest triple Lutzes in the sport, according to Kathy Casey, an Olympic and World coach and U.S. Figure Skating Athletic Performance Enhancement consultant, said her mindset is better than ever in regard to competing at Nationals this year.

“My mentality has changed, if a mistake happens, I can talk myself out of it,” she said. “The biggest thing is consistency and that is our main focus.”

Last year, Zawadzki, who had been training with Christy Krall at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, returned to her former coach, Zakrajsek, and the change has proven to be fruitful so far.

“I feel my old self is coming out,” she said. “The day to day routine is the same and I’m doing the same sessions, just with a different coach.”

Last fall, Zawadzki placed seventh at the Cup of China and sixth at the Rostelecom Cup in Russia solid, respectable performances.

According to Zawadzki, this year’s ladies field is strong, which should designate an excellent competition.

“This year our field is so deep, it all depends on who performs that day,” she said.

Hoping to be a member of the U.S. Olympic team, Zawadzki is looking to ‘throw down’ a great skate.

Aside from looking to score an Olympic team berth, Zawadzki wants increase her placement from third to possibly second or even first.

“You don’t go into a competition hoping for the third spot,” she said. “I don’t want to just make it, I want to make a big impact at Nationals.”

Zawadzki cited Sarah Hughes’ gold-medal winning performance at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics as a perfect example of this approach.

Noone thought of Sarah winning gold, but she threw it down and was the star of the competition,” she said. “When you go into a competition, you hope to get the first spot.”


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