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Interview with US Bronze Medalist Ross Miner
July 18, 2011 - Christie Sausa
Many Lake Placidians who frequent the Saturday Night Ice Show will remember Ross Miner as a young skater. He was an energetic and enthusiastic skater, often skating to upbeat music and executing his elements with ease.
Now, Miner returned to the Saturday Night Ice Show older, wiser, and with a bronze medal from the 2011 National Championships. This was a pleasant surprise, as Miner had sat out his first Senior Nationals due to a foot injury.
“I injured my ankle two weeks before my Senior National debut last year”, Miner said. “So I was happy to compete this year”.
Miner had been training harder with his coaches Peter Johansson and Mark Mitchell, and after a less than ideal short program, he focused on skating an excellent long program without mistakes.
“I had fun skating at my first Senior National Championships, and really enjoyed the moment” Miner recalled. “I thought that was a very important part of the experience, to just have fun”.
He surpassed his own expectations, earning a spot on the World Team and competing at the 2011 World Championships in Moscow. Most of the skaters were on edge (no pun intended), after the original Worlds date was postponed. No one was certain if Worlds would even take place that year, because of the devastation in Japan, the original site of the Championships. Luckily Moscow stepped in to host the event, and the skaters were able to test their year of hard work on the World stage.
“My experience at Worlds was excellent,” Miner said. “I did exactly what I trained for, and was really happy with my skating”.
Although originally from Williston VT, Miner and his family moved when he was 12 to train at the prestigious Skating Club of Boston. Up until then, he was participating in other type of skating as well.
“I played hockey up until age 12, but saw figure skaters practicing after my hockey practices, and said, ‘I want to try that,” said Miner.
Miner is also no stranger to Lake Placid. He spent many summers here, training with well-known skating coach Tommy Litz, and has also competed at many Lake Placid competitions.
“I skated here during the summer. I competed at the Junior National Championships here, my first Junior Grand Prix competition in 2009 that I won…so obviously I love skating here, for those special memories”.
Miner has also left an impression on the Lake Placid ice shows with his unique skating style and athleticism. His signature move?
“My cantilever move was taught to me by my coaches when I was young, but now I don’t perform it too much anymore because now that I’m older, it’s very challenging physically”.
The Cantilever is a move in which the skater’s knees and feet are pointed outward, knees bent past 90 degrees with the feet in ballet-style “2nd position”. The skater then bends backward, gliding on their inside edges, with the back of their upper body parallel to the ice. It is an element that requires balance and strength; the cantilever is difficult to explain, and even more challenging to perform.
It is amazing to think the young dynamo that practiced and performed in Lake Placid years ago is now the US National bronze medalist and World competitor.
“I love visiting Lake Placid; everyone is really nice, and of course this is a mecca of figure skating,” said Miner. “Every great skater has been in Lake Placid at one time or another”.
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Ross Miner performs his signature move, the Cantilever.