I was born on the 9th July 1985 in Berlin, Germany.
After two long years of waiting and nagging my mother I was finally able to go on the ice. My figure skating career started when I was five
years old. That was the beginning of a long, eventful and interesting journey with many ups and downs.
Shortly after my eighth birthday (1993), due to my parents recently getting divorced, I moved to the North East of England with my mother and sister. Here I continued my training at the local ice rink, Billingham Forum but I have to admit that this was nowhere near as well organised or to the same standard as in Berlin. I no longer had ballet or athletics and only 1 - 2 hours of ice time a day and this were usually in the morning before school. My coach during this time was Catherine Barker. She taught me up to double Lutz.
At the age of thirteen I changed both coach and rink in order to train in better facilities. I now trained in Sunderland Ice Rink with Debbie and Simon Briggs. This training facility was over an hour’s drive from our house and with training sessions starting at 6:15am, it meant getting up earlier as well as getting changed for school and eating breakfast in the car on route to school so I wouldn’t miss any classes. This was all made worthwhile when I became British Novice Champion (1999) that year. This was a very important achievement for me personally as I failed to get past the qualifying round the previous year.
Unfortunately it wasn’t long before my new found luck left me again. The facility management at Sunderland Ice Rink decided to close the ice rink during daylight hours in order to use it for other purposes and increase their revenue. Although we all joined together in hope to overturn this decision with the help of a lawyer we were unable to affect the outcome. This meant that I would now train in a different rink from 4am till 6am, Wednesday through to Sunday. We got up at 2am and left the house at 2:30am every morning to drive fro an hour to training. Due to the distance and lack of available ice time this was my only training session every day for a period of a few months. In the summer of 2000 Debbie and Simon Briggs got offered a job in Dundee, which is situated on the East Coast of Scotland above Edinburgh. So in August or September (I can’t remember the exact date) I left my home, mother and sister to move with Debbie and Simon Briggs to Dundee and train. That year at the British Championships I placed 2nd in Primary Ladies, 2nd in the Junior Pairs and 7th in Junior Ladies event.
The few months I spent in Dundee were very difficult for me. I lived with my coaches and went to school there but I wasn’t happy. This resulted in me changing coaches and rinks again. In January 2001 I moved to Ayr on the West Coast of Scotland which is a little town roughly 45 minutes drive southwest of Glasgow. Here I trained with some of the best skaters Britain had at that time. These included British Champions Alan Street and Zoe Jones, as well as British Junior Champion Tristan Cousins. I trained with Kevin Bursey, from Canada and Joy Sutcliff. I moved in with Joy Sutcliff and her husband Ronny and shared the house with 6 other athletes. Training went well. I improved and started landing more and more triples jumps. After finishing secondary school that year I had more time to train so I was now able to spend 3 – 4 hours a day on the ice, as well as training in athletics and ballet. The following year (Season 2001/2002) at the British Championships I became British Junior Ladies Champion.
In January 2002 we were informed that this ice rink too would be closing. I really wasn’t having much luck. So on the 1st of February 2002 my coach Joy Sutcliff, a few other skaters and myself moved to Nottingham as Joy had been offered a good job there. In the past two years I had moved a total of 7 times! They say home is where the heart is, I guess. Nottingham Ice Arena was a brand new training facility, with two ice pads, a fitness studio and a ballet room. We now had 2-3 ice sessions a day and ballet four times a week. Alongside my training I was also working as a coach, which I started to do in Ayr, and in the Skate Reception. Training and board with Joy Sutcliff cost a total of £100 a week and my mother was already working 3 jobs.
In July 2002 Nottingham held the Queens Gala in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth the 2nd. This gala was choreographed by Jane Torvel and Christopher Dean with many world renowned skaters coming to participate in this show and it was a truly magical experience for me. Unfortunately this was to be my last night in Nottingham. After winning Juniors British Championships I was supposed to go on to skate Junior Worlds but I was told that I wasn’t ready yet and therefore wouldn’t be sent. Instead the following year (2003) I was requested to skate Junior British Championships again rather than moving up to the seniors level. My family and i disagreed with this decision and decided it was best for me to go back to Germany to train. So negotiations started up between my father and soon to be new coach Ilona Schindler. Beginning of August 2002 I was sent back to Germany. I deliberately say ‘sent’ as I didn’t want to leave England.
So in August 2002 I continued my career in Erfurt, Germany with my new coach Ilona Schindler and training partner Stefan Lindemann. I placed 13th at the German Championships in 2003 and 3rd in 2004. I improved my technique, my jumps and gradually gained continuity and confidence in my triples jumps. Moving back to Germany meant that I was banned from competing at international competitions for a 2 years period. This meant that my first season skating Junior Grand Prix’s (Season 2004/05), nfortunately was also my last. I was successful during this season having placed 8th at my first Junior Grand Prix and 4th at my second. New Years Eve 2004 I badly injured my foot during training. This was one week before the German Championships I could hardly walk for pain but I carried on training and after 2 days of rest I decided to still go ahead and compete. Unfortunately my foot didn’t hold out and after a fall, due to my injurie during my long programme I was unable to even finish. It turned out I had torn some tendons and ruptured a ligament in my right foot and therefore wouldn’t be able to train for a few months. This injury caught me at my personal peak and I am to this day trying to regain the standard I was then. I continued my training after a few months of rest but due to the severity of the injury I eventually had to have surgery which took place in January 2006.
2007 was my last German Championships with my coach Ilona Schindler in which I placed 3rd. In May 2007 I changed coach and moved from Erfurt to Berlin. I now train with Karin Hendschke-Raddatz. During the last season (2008/09) I placed 2nd at the German Championships and was quite successful throughout the season including placing 1st at Nice in France which was my favourite international competition destination so far; 3rd in Dortmund and 3rd in Holland.
Season 2009/10: The preparations for this season went well even though I was still having problems with an old injury. But the pain kept getting worse and prevented me from training. So that in October we had to call off the season due to injuries. I then had to have another surgery on my foot in November and a surgery on my hip in December. But I have recovered well from them so far and am hoping to get back on the ice at the end of January.
- GCSE’s – Ian Ramsey C of E School, England
- Abitur (A-Level’s) – Pierre-de-Coubertin Gymnasium, Germany
- Since 2008 Regional Studies Asia/Africa, Bachelor of Arts – Humboldt University to Berlin, Germany
- Christiane Dost
- Andy Panai – Dance Coach
- Catherine Barker
- Simon and Debbie Briggs
- Joy Sutcliffe
- Kevin Bursey
- Ilona Schindler
- Karin Hendschke-Raddatz – current Coach
- Lorna Brown – Choreographer
- Iwo Svec – Choreographer