Just ahead of her first day of classes at Stanford University, 2010 U.S. champion and college freshman-to-be Rachael Flatt announced that she will be working with four new coaches in the Bay Area. With a few rinks within close driving distance of Stanford, Flatt had plenty of choices for ice time, and indeed, she will be splitting her time between rinks in San Jose, Redwood City, and Oakland.
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Unlike many college freshmen who begin their academic semesters at the beginning of September, Flatt will be experiencing Stanford’ quarter system, which starts the school year a few weeks later in late September. The extra time before classes will no doubt allow her to further strengthen preparations for the new season before she adjusts to her new life.
It is a logical choice for her to choose the Sharks Ice at San Jose, as it boasts some of the top coaches in the Bay Area. She will be working primarily with Justin Dillon and Lynn Smith, but will also continue to work with former Olympic ice dance gold medalist Sergei Ponomarenko. Dillon himself juggled college and skating back when he was a national-level competitor, having won the 1998 U.S. Collegiate Championships.
Flatt also indicated that she will be working with 1978 World champion Charlie Tickner at Ice Oasis in Redwood City, which is closer to the university campus than the San Jose rink is. The San Jose rink is a quick 30-minute drive from campus and Redwood City is about 15 minutes. Sharks Ice at Oakland, on the other hand, will a much farther commute than either of the two for the new Cardinal.
In late June, U.S. Figure Skating reprimanded and fined Flatt for her failure to disclose the seriousness of her injury prior to the 2011 World Championships. She will be looking to move forward from this incident and start a new chapter in her skating and academic career.
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