For the figure skating pair of Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers, the 2011-12 season is winding down, but they are winding down on an up note.
Lawrence, who hails from the community of Kipling, and Swiegers, who was born in South Africa, both make their in-season homes on the road, as elite members of Canada’s senior figure skating team.
Paige and Rudi, as they are known, hit big in the juniors, however with their move up to the senior ranks, a whole new skill level of competition awaited them.
“There strong pairs teams in Canada,” Lawrence said. “I feel as if we fit in the senior level.”
After a short period of adjustment, the pair moved into medal territory again, taking several bronzes at both national and international events, including a bronze at the Canadian Figure Skating Championships on Jan. 23rd of this year.
Speaking with Lawrence about her and Swiegers’ success, the athlete in her is apparent in her response.
“This wasn’t a strong year for us,” Lawrence said. “We fought for everything we got this year.”
Asking how their routines developed, Lawrence explained they had moved into a less familiar style.
“Every new program brings new developments,” Lawrence said. “This year our program had a more refined and classical look.”
“That kind of style was new to Rudi and myself,” Lawrence continued. “But we are always trying to open new avenues to explore.”
Following the Canadian Championships, the pair competed at the Four Continents Championships.
“Our season is definitely winding down now,” Lawrence explained. “We are substitutes for the Canadian team at the world’s this year, so we keep training like we’re going to skate, but for the most part the season is over.”
“After the Worlds are done, it will be time for us to catch a breath and refocus,” Lawrence said. “We’ll work out new programs, and start getting ready for the next season.”
Lawrence, from her attitude, continues to love skating, and seems to have fit into the senior levels quite well.
“It’s gotten to the point where, between the teams, who gets a gold is really a matter of who has a better day,” Lawrence said. “The teams are all really talented.”
Lawrence and Swiegers, students of skating coach Patti Hole, now make Virden, MB their training location.
Many of Paige and Rudi’s performances can be viewed on YouTube, if you would like to watch the programs the two talented athletes have moved through over the years.