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Kostner heading to the U.S. to train in Los Angeles

Four-time Italian champion also turns to new psychologist

Carolina Kostner is turning to a new coach and psychologist to try to overcome the nerves that led to her 15th-place free skate at the 2009 Worlds.
Carolina Kostner is turning to a new coach and psychologist to try to overcome the nerves that led to her 15th-place free skate at the 2009 Worlds. (Getty Images)

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By Todd Hinckley
(07/06/2009) - Carolina Kostner is trying to regroup before the 2009-10 season, an important one for her because of both the Olympics and the world championships, the latter of which will take place in her home country. So, she is making some changes.

On Monday, she announced in a feature that aired on Italian television that she is moving to the United States to train. Kostner will be under the tutelage of Frank Carroll and Christa Fassi in Los Angeles. Carroll is the legendary coach who worked with Michelle Kwan and now counts world champion Evan Lysacek and American Mirai Nagasu as pupils. Fassi is the widow of famed coach Carlo Fassi and has worked with Robin Cousins, Jill Trenary and many others.

Kostner had been searching for a new training situation since announcing last month that she was no longer working with Michael Huth in Oberstdorf, Germany.

"I tried to find a place where I train well and am happy," she said in the TV interview.

This move is partly in response to her panic or nerve attacks on the ice. Because of that, she has started working with Daniele Popolizio, the psychologist that helped Italian swimmer Federica Pellegrini win the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 200-meter freestyle.

Ironically, one of the most recent slip-ups for Kostner came in L.A., at the 2009 ISU World Figure Skating Championships, where she followed a fifth-place short program with a disastrous, 15th-place free skate, during which she singled many intended triple or double jumps. Kostner was the defending world silver medalist but finished only 12th in 2009.

The 22-year-old born in Bolzano, Italy, is a four-time national and two-time European champion. She finished ninth at the Olympics in Turin in 2006 and would love to improve on that finish next season, both in Vancouver for the Olympics and back in Turin at worlds.