Carreira & Ponomarenko mirror on their journey to this point

By Matteo Morelli | Images by Robin Ritoss

Crew USA’s Christina Carreira & Anthony Ponomarenko loved a improbable junior profession and are on a promising journey as senior ice dancers, with a bronze at 2022 4 Continents and a current first place on the Golden Spin Challenger Occasion in Zagreb, the place they reached new season bests. We met with them after Grand Prix of Espoo in Finland, and talked about how they discovered one another, their profession as junior and senior opponents, and their current change of coaches and group.

How do you’re feeling after finishing your two Grand Prix (Skate America and Grand Prix of Espoo) of this season?
Christina Carreira (CC): I feel we skated very well right here. We put out two nice performances, they have been each fairly sturdy. We left a number of factors on the desk within the free, however total it was a greater efficiency than Sheffield, and we need to enhance once more sooner or later. 

Anthony Ponomarenko (AP): We had a really distinctive low season, I had my surgical procedure and we needed to begin late within the season so we wished to indicate stable performances in each Grand Prix occasions and I feel we’ve completed that, with a season greatest once more. I feel we experience on that momentum till the subsequent competitions and nationals, easy down all the pieces and hold that onwards constructive course.

Anthony, you touched in your surgical procedure after 4 Continents. How did it have an effect on your coaching as a group and the way did you get better from it? 
AP: I had a reasonably large surgical procedure in February, it was a novel low season for us. It was tough for us to cease instantly. I labored lots on the psychological aspect of issues, with a psychologist and a efficiency specialist. I got here again very slowly, improved the muscular tissues and labored on what I wanted to work on. They are saying that when one associate has a surgical procedure, the group is recovering. I’m actually proud to have Christina as a associate, she labored very laborious after I was gone and drove all the way in which to London, Ontario, day-after-day to place the work in.

You’ve got been skating collectively for nearly a decade, since 2014. Anthony, I perceive it was your mom that thought that you just and Christina could be match. Looks like she was proper!
AP: Christina was skating together with her previous associate, we competed towards one another at a Lake Placid Ice Dance Championship manner again within the day. From then on, my mother stored saying how good Christina was!

CC: My mum was doing the identical with me, speaking about all of the competitions he was doing! We cut up with our earlier companions across the similar time. Our coach Igor Shpilband had us attempting out for a month. I had a few different trials, however I already made up my thoughts and knew that I wished to skate with him! 

Your junior profession began with you attaining lots of successes, together with a silver and bronze medal at Junior Worlds, two Junior Grand Prix golds and a Junior Grand Prix Last silver medal. What are your reflections on these years, and the way did they form you because the skaters you are actually?
CC: Our junior years taught us tips on how to compete, it is rather completely different than senior. In a manner, it seems like junior is a passion and senior is a full time job. We have been fortunate to compete with nice individuals, and they’re nonetheless our mates to at the present time. It was a very enjoyable time. 

AP: It was good to develop up with skaters and to have them to nonetheless be at competitions with us. It’s nice to see that and searching again at junior it was enjoyable. We carried out properly, it was nice to have these outcomes, and have the momentum carrying us within the senior, but it surely additionally taught us self-discipline and tips on how to act as an ice dance group. I’m completely happy that we had these years in junior. We miss these days, however I agree when Christina stated that junior is a passion and senior is a job.

In your fifth yr into your senior profession, you’ve got already collected a Grand Prix bronze medal, and a bronze on the 4 Continents occasion. The laborious work you might be placing in is there and is paying again.
CC: It takes time to construct maturity and all we require. The competitors within the U.S. is among the strongest on the planet, so we’ve to be good to compete for that nation. We’re nonetheless working.

In January 2021, you introduced your departing out of your long-time coach Igor Shpilband to hitch the Ice Academy of Montreal (I.AM) in London, Ontario. What led to that call? What did you’re taking away with you from these years spent with him?

CC: There have been many the explanation why we left, however we’ll all the time be glad about what he taught us. We wouldn’t be the skaters we’re at present if not for what he taught us. We’re very grateful to him, but in addition pleased with our new group of coaches at IAM and the place we are actually. 

What’s your relationship together with your new coaches (Scott Moir, Madison Hubbell and Adrián Díaz) and teammates at I.AM?
CC: Now we have a very nice relationship with our coaches. Now we have a lot respect for them and we belief their imaginative and prescient, so it is rather straightforward to work with them. We even have a very good relationship with the opposite skaters at IAM. They’re all tremendous good and enjoyable to journey and prepare with. We’re actually fortunate to have such a constructive and motivating coaching atmosphere.

AP: I like the group we’ve round us. Scott, Madison, and Adrián are improbable to work with and every one brings a special power to the group. Being part of IAM provides us the chance to coach with a few of the greatest and it’s an honour to observe them work! 

With the primary half of this aggressive season already accomplished, what are your goals to your subsequent competitions?
AP: We intention to make the world group this yr. The ice dance area within the U.S. is robust so we glance to be ready and at our greatest for the nationwide championships.