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Maturing Savary harbors quad Salchow hopes

12-year-old shows off increased skills in Liberty junior event

Emmanuel Savary hopes to qualify for the 2011 U.S. Championships as a junior.
Emmanuel Savary hopes to qualify for the 2011 U.S. Championships as a junior. (Michelle Harvath)

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By Lynn Rutherford, special to icenetwork.com
(07/16/2010) - Last season, the combined cuteness quotient of diminutive Nathan Chen, then 10 years old, and 12-year-old Emmanuel Savary, who took novice gold and silver respectively at the 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, nearly overwhelmed fans in Spokane.

Fast forward six months, and Savary has not only grown a few inches and picked up a lot of speed, he's doubled his jump arsenal.

"Triple Lutz, triple loop, triple-triple combination -- he's been getting it all," Ron Ludington, who is part of Savary's coaching team at University of Delaware, said.

The veteran coach joked, "He's had the jumps for a while; he's been working hard since January. I'll break his neck if they're not in his program at nationals."

Performing a lively circus program, Savary took fourth in Liberty's junior men's free skate, competing against many skaters up to six years older. He was third in the short and has qualified for the final.

The 2009 U.S. intermediate champion landed six triples, including two flips and a Lutz, although a triple loop was downgraded. In his earlier short program, he executed a triple flip, triple toe.

"I love the challenge," said Savary. "It's been a lot of hard work and trying to improve my personal best at every competition. The goal is to qualify for juniors at nationals."

Savary -- or "E-man" to his pals -- began skating at age three, following in the footsteps of one of his four older brothers, Joel. As his official website has it, he began by "throwing baby powder on the tile floor at home to make a sliding surface."

Joel now works as an assistant with Ludington and Emmanuel's primary coach, Jeff DiGregorio. Next up is a developmental competition in San Francisco in late summer.

"Joel is a tremendous help at the rink," Ludington said. "He retired about four years ago and skated in an ice show for a year to help pay for [Emmanuel's] training."

Savary, who begins Gauger Cobbs Middle School in Newark, N.J., this fall, has set his sites high. He wants to add a quad Salchow to his free program.

"He's much more comfortable with the Salchow, than the toe," Ludington said. "He likes that jump, and he's connecting with it well. I wouldn't bet against him."