America’s Adam Rippon is confident 2009 is going to be a great year.
New Year’s Day found the rising star on the ice at his new training venue, the Toronto Cricket, Skating & Curling Club, with his new coach, Brian Orser.
Rippon said he could not be happier. He is also excited that David Wilson will be his new choreographer.
The reigning World Junior Champion kicked off 2009 with a performance of his short program for club patrons. Judging by the applause and the screams from the young girls in attendance, Rippon, who moved to Toronto full-time on Dec. 28, already has a fan club at his new training base.
Rippon said he made the decision to leave his former coach Nikolai Morozov in November and that the Orser team was highly recommended to he and his family as the best option.
“I knew before Cup of Russia that I would have to find another situation,” Rippon said. “I went to Russia with Nikolai and when I came home I called him and told him that I needed to work with a coach who can really dedicate more time to me.
“Nikolai has so much going on and he just did not really have enough time for me. I completely understand that because he has so many other high level skaters but I spent a lot of time in Hackensack just skating by myself.”
Rippon said working with Morozov was a learning experience. "I got to skate with Daisuke Takahashi and Miki Ando. It was a big year for Nikolai and it was a big year for me to start skating with him and I definitely learned so much.
"But this summer Daisuke left and Nobunari Oda and Fumie Suguri came and Nikolai had gained a lot of other students, so the time we had together was very limited and it really was not the same working environment any more."
Rippon said the atmosphere at his Toronto training center is the complete opposite. “Here it is about always being up so that you can skate even better and I really felt that from the first moment I walked in the door of the Cricket Club,” he said.
"We have a great team here at the club," Orser said. "We have a system in place that works for Yu-Na (Kim), it is a system that has started to work with the young kids and I am sure it will work for Adam and he will flourish."
Rippon said neither of his programs were ever completely done which left him in an awkward position. Wilson polished the short and changed the long. "David and I reworked the steps and everything in the long, and I am sure it is going to be really good."
Orser will not be at the boards at U.S. nationals due to a prior commitment. “I am taking a group of adult skaters from the club to skate on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa that week," he said. "It has been arranged for a long time and I cannot change those plans."
Former Canadian champion Karen Preston will accompany Rippon to nationals. Wilson will also be attending the event.
The full interview with Adam Rippon will be published in the upcoming issue of International Figure Skating magazine.