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Bourne and Kraatz

Dec 27, 2006

They've competed around the world and been on the front of a Cheerios' box - but Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz have never made it to the top of the world figure skating podium. The two ice dancers will try to dance their way to gold, yet again at the 2001 World Figure Skating Championships in Vancouver, BC.

Shae-Lynn is from Ontario, Canada. She started figure skating when she was 7, after watching her brother play hockey. She decided to go into ice dancing when she was 15. Victor grew up in Switzerland. When he was a kid he loved skiing and played a lot of hockey. He became interested in ice dancing after seeing it on television. Victor and his family moved to Canada when he was 16 and he met Shae-Lynn shortly after.

The two began ice dancing together in 1991. During their first year, the two won the National Junior Ice Dancing title. Since then, they've won seven national titles and have competed at six World Championships - winning four bronze medals. The pair's ice dancing moves have also taken them to two Winter Olympics, where they placed 10th in 1994 and 4th in 1998.

If you're not familiar with ice dancing, it's a bit like ballroom dancing on ice and many people don't really even consider it a sport. (I mean it's not like they have an Olympics for ballet or cheerleading.) In ice dancing, you're not allowed to do most of the jumps, spins and lifts that they do in the other figure skating events. Instead, teams are judged on things like how quick and precise their footwork is and how artistic the judges think a couple looks. The way the sport is judged has come under a lot of heat in the last couple of years. Many people, including Shae-Lynn and Victor, have accused figure skating judges of picking the winners before the competition even starts. That would totally suck - It's like the ump telling the Yankees they've won the world series without even bothering to play the season.

The guidelines for judging the sport have now been changed so competitions are more fair. Victor and Shae-Lynn are hoping that will help them take the gold at this year's World Championships.

  • www.scratchspin.com - cool pics of all your favorite figure skaters.
  • www.2001worlds.ca - the official site of the 2001 World Figure Skating Championships.
  • www.saltlake2002.com - the official site of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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