Ice Network

Sailer, Garber use inspirational program to win gold

Veteran pair repeats as champions; Sacrifice pays off for Cioppa, Trzaska
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Kimberly Sailer overcame a fractured foot suffered eight weeks ago to win the championship masters pairs title with her partner, David Garber. -Jay Adeff

Kimberly Sailer and David Garber (Pittsburgh FSC) repeated as championship masters pairs gold medalists at the U.S. Adult Championships with an inspirational program that holds special meaning for them.

The program, which opens with "Amazing Grace" and includes an overlay of Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech, helped lift the veteran team to the title with 50.31 points.

"It's about overcoming oppression and picking yourself up by your bootstraps," Sailer said. "It's about helping others pick themselves up by their bootstraps."

"It's inspirational, not only in a political environment or a social context but in an individual environment as well," Garber added.

Sailer and Garber had to overcome much adversity just to be in Wake Forest, North Carolina, this week. Sailer fractured her foot eight weeks ago during an off-ice drill with a student.

"I just got out of my cast, and I was cleared to skate (last) Thursday," Sailer said. "On Monday, we started trying to get through everything."

Another veteran team, Tara Cioppa (New Jersey FSC) and Stephen Trzaska (Washington FSC), placed second with 36.41 points.

Together for 10 years, Cioppa and Trzaska make their partnership work with much sacrifice.

"I live in New York, and I drive 3 1/2 hours to his house (in Boston) the night before," Cioppa said. "I usually get there at 11:30 at night. We sleep for four or five hours, we get up at 5 in the morning, and we skate for four hours. Then he goes to work, and I drive back. We do that every week."

Cioppa and Trzaska performed their self-choreographed program to "I Want to Spend my Lifetime Loving You," which is from the movie The Mask of Zorro.