The Inside Edge with Sarah and Drew - Aug. 6

Fedor Andreev enjoys Florida; looking back at Indy Pairs

Fedor Andreev has until Thursday morning to produce his Azerbaijan citizenship papers.
Fedor Andreev has until Thursday morning to produce his Azerbaijan citizenship papers. (Jacque Tiegs)


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By Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins, special to
(08/06/2009) - Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins cover all the bases in the latest version of The Inside Edge, from Fedor Andreev to Indy memories.

Fedor Express

Fedor Andreev started his season in spectacular style last month, winning both sections of the competition at Skate Detroit. He scored 76.41 points in his short program to Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing," and 132.63 in his free skate to Tchaikovsky's violin concerto.

We particularly enjoyed Fedor's beautiful triple Axels and, of course, his elegant expressive style. Fedor is now training in Florida with Richard Callaghan, representing Azerbaijan and aiming for the Vancouver Olympics.

We asked him how his summer was going; he's obviously doing something right.

"I've had a great summer so far," he said. "Despite being rather hectic, with the move to Florida and all, it's been quite productive. Working with Richard Callaghan and Todd Eldredge on a daily basis has been a huge asset to my skating. My confidence is up, and I'm really enjoying what I'm doing on the ice."

What technical tips has Todd been sharing?

"Todd has been working with me on my mental game, and has helped me with my spins. I hope I can learn as much as possible from his experiences and be able to interpret them and apply them to my own skating. It's been great having him as a friend and as a great resource. I'm very fortunate to work with Mr. Callaghan and Todd."

So, how is the Canadian son of Russian parents enjoying sunny Florida?

"My favorite thing about Florida, so far, would have to be the smooth roads. I've had enough with the car-devouring, pot-hole ridden, land-mine laden, spine-jarring Michigan roads! I've been to the beach a number of times. It's definitely a treat to hop in the ocean [which is unbelievably warm] and enjoy the hot weather! Since my father was a swimmer, swimming comes as second nature to me."

As well as skating, Fedor has a passion for fast vehicles and spent some time "drifting," a type of auto racing involving controlled skidding. These days, he zooms around Florida on a motorcycle.

"Being able to ride my motorcycle everyday is a positive thing as well," he said. "It's one of the best remedies from stress or anything else that is less ideal in one's life. The bike itself is a Triumph Speed Triple (British) 1000cc. It's very, very fast."

Is more racing in his future?

"As for drifting\racing, that will be a huge part of my inner-being for the rest of my life. After the Olympics, you can be sure I'll be back out destroying tires and making the faint-hearted cry."

How did he feel about his first competition this summer?

"Skate Detroit was a perfect way to start off the Olympic year and the competitive season. I had some very strong marks, great comments and a burning desire to improve even more! A few highlights were a 14.2 point 3A+3T combo (+2 GOE), the first Level 4 straight-line footwork with the new rules -- which is so, so exciting. I'm excited to be back in the swing of things again, working towards Oberstdorf!"

We're really looking forward to it, and if we're in Miami, we'll watch out for the motorcycle. And if we're in Michigan, we'll watch out for land-mines, although we think Fedor was probably kidding about those...

Indy Memories

Unfortunately, Sarah couldn't go to the Indy Pair Challenge this year. Since we are sure you've heard all about the skating by now, Drew is going to offer some thoughts about the weekend in general.

The Indy Challenge is always a unique and fantastic competition. For starters, its the biggest event of the season that is exclusive to pairs -- sometimes even bigger then nationals.

It also takes place in early August, which makes things challenging since there is a very long season ahead of us. Indy is also the first time we get to see the majority of our fellow competitors and friends since nationals. So, it always feels like some what of a reunion. This year, however, Indy felt even more memorable. Of course, the things just mentioned were present, but being an Olympic year -- which is a year of such importance -- it really brought us together in a way previous years had not.

As always, the competition was fierce and the Lycra and Swarovski were abundant, but it was the atmosphere after the skating was over that was interesting.

Following the senior pair free skate, nearly all of the competitors met up for dinner at a local restaurant. We overflowed from six or seven tables strung together, and gabbed and gossiped about the essential topics: what was new, who's dating who, and who are you wearing?!

After that was taken care of, we spent a lot of time reminiscing. We talked about everything from the "crazy" days of JGP's, to the story of how we met back when we were novice. Then, we began fantasizing about what the next several months would be like. We all could feel the intensity of the season upon us, as well as all of the change that would take place following it. Everyone sitting there that evening knew -- without mentioning it -- this was going to be one of those seasons we would talk about at Indy for years to come.

That's all for now!

Sarah and Drew
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