The inside edge with Sarah and Drew

Juliana Cannarozzo tried a little pair skating with Drew Meekins, but decided it was time to retire and move on to a professional career in skating.
Juliana Cannarozzo tried a little pair skating with Drew Meekins, but decided it was time to retire and move on to a professional career in skating. (Sarah S. Brannen)


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By Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins, special to
(08/22/2008) - It's time for our behind-the-scenes reporters, Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins, to bring us up to date on all the dish from around the world of figure skating.

Up, up and away
Juliana Cannarozzo has been a star at the Skating Club of Boston since she was a juvenile competitor. Along with winning a ton of medals, she starred in the movie Ice Princess at the age of 15. She's always fab to watch on the ice and fun to spend time with off the ice, so we were sorry to hear that she has decided to move on.

Juliana announced her retirement from competition on Tuesday, and we talked to her that afternoon about her future plans. The always stylish "Jewls" had just run out to the tailors to drop off a pair of jeans that needed lengthening. "I'm always so paranoid about them being too short!" she said.

Juliana was rushing around preparing for a major move -- more about that in a moment.

"I am going crazy!" she said. "I feel like I have a million things to do." On to serious matters, she told us she had made the decision to stop competing last April. "I kept going back and forth," she said. "Last year was really hard for me. I was really injured and hardly skated at all, so that was no fun!"

What was the injury?

"It was with my ankle and a bunch of different things. At first we were treating it as tendinitis [which I have had all over my body]. I had cortisone shots and physical therapy, everything you can imagine. The bone was basically chipping away."

At the beginning of the year, Juliana considered a lot of different options, including skating pairs. She and Drew skated together a bit in the spring. "It was probably the most fun few months ever. I was definitely interested in it, because once I got over the initial shock of being thrown around, I loved it!"

In the end, though, Juliana decided to join Holiday on Ice, and she'll be touring Europe this winter. Her friend from the Skating Club of Boston, Kevin Coppola, is also going to do the show. They leave on Monday -- "we're sitting right next to each other on the plane!" -- and fly to Utrecht. Rehearsals start on Aug. 27th, which is Juliana's 19th birthday.

"We are touring Germany and France, alllll over, for seven months. I'm trying to fit my life in two suitcases."

We wondered if she speaks French or German.

"Not really. I know a few things, and Ross Miner speaks German so he has been dropping words to me."

Juliana said she is psyched and excited about her new life, and nervous too. She has agreed to guest-blog for us in the fall, and share behind-the-scenes stories, pictures and of course, drama, from the tour. We can't wait!

It was great to see Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig at the 2008 Indy Pairs Challenge. The veteran competitors performed really well and stayed relaxed the whole week. On the ice for their short program, Mark sprayed "Firm Grip" on his hands and offered Sarah some, in case her fingers slipped on the shutter button on her camera! We sat down with them after the free skate, and asked if they had had any time off this summer.

"After nationals, we did get a little time off," said Amanda. "Jeremy [Barrett] and I went to Biloxi, Miss., for a little bit. His family likes the casinos and everything, so we went with them and spent some time there, and just lay on the beach and hung out."

"You guys spent most of your time on the beach!" said Mark, commenting on Amanda's tan. Mark did something altogether different for his vacation. "I visited my brother, Lt. Commander Todd "FiSL" Ladwig," said Mark. "FiSL stands for 'Figure Skating Lover,' in honor of his bragging about me. His squadron was impressed by our lifts! He came back from the Persian Gulf on the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman."

Friends and family can ride with crewmembers; it's called a 'Tiger Cruise.'

"I got to see an air show when I was on there, I got to basically live the life and see his work. I rode it from Jacksonville, Fla., to Norfolk Va. That took two days.

"His plane wasn't even on the aircraft carrier. He's a naval flight officer, he does all the electronic stuff in the back. If you've ever seen Top Gun, he'd be Goose."

We asked Amanda and Mark about their skating. They have two new programs, to "Santorini" by Yanni in the short, and the "Pas de Deux" from The Nutcracker in the free. They're both excited about competing at the Cup of China this fall, having never been to China before.

"It's going to be after the summer Olympics," said Amanda, "So hopefully we'll see a little of the aftermath of it, get some souvenirs and stuff, to take home to the little kids! Tracy Tanovich has been teaching us how to speak Chinese."

"Ni Hao," said Mark, practicing.

Citius, Altius, Fortius,
Sarah and Drew