Five favorite things with Evora & Ladwig

Partners agree on skating, not on music

Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig have had each other's back on the ice since 2002.
Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig have had each other's back on the ice since 2002. (Getty Images)


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(06/20/2011) - Two-time U.S. pair silver medalists Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig, who teamed up in 2002, are that rare U.S. pair with the timing, professional relationship and persistence to persevere over the long-term.

The Florida-based skaters -- aged 26 and 31, respectively -- announced they will compete in 2011-2012, with hopes to win their first U.S. title and improve upon their 11th-place finish at the 2011 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Moscow.

The pair's long-time coach, Jim Peterson, said in an e-mail to Southwest Florida Figure Skating Club members, "They are 'staying in' because of their love of the sport, a desire to better themselves as competitors and to ultimately reach their potential as athletes."

The two are bucking a trend in U.S. pairs. The last three U.S. champions -- including Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker (2008 and 2009); Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett (2010); and Caitlin Yankowskas and John Coughlin (2011)-- have all parted company. Evora and Ladwig and the Boston-based pair of Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir (who placed fifth at the 2011 U.S. Figure Skating Championships) are the only teams among the top five from the 2011 U.S. Championships that have competed together more than two seasons.

"I hope that we do send a message to U.S. pairs teams that longevity does matter,'' Amanda told reporter Amy Rosewater in May. "Look at Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao. They [competed] together for 18 years."

Part of the team's longevity may be due to their happy, and separate, off-ice lives. Amanda is engaged to 2010 U.S. champion Barrett, while Mark married his North Dakota hometown sweetheart Janet in 2006. The couple had a son, Holden, in 2009.

While many fans hope this decision means the pair will continue competing through the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Amanda said, "We really only make decisions one season at a time."

It's popcorn-and-a-movie time. What are your favorites?

Mark: Lately I would say Tron. The original, not Part II -- I watched both, and the original is better.

Amanda: I love Blades of Glory.

How about books?

Mark: Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, by Walter Isaacson. It's very engaging and interesting. Franklin was a kind of renaissance man of his time.

Amanda: Eat, Pray and Love

Any favorite foods?

Mark: Any kind of granola bars, for our training.

What are your must-see TV shows?

Mark: Big Bang Theory

Amanda: In terms of series, I loved Dexter. I also love The Office.

What tunes are on your iPod playlists?

Mark: Anything, but especially anything country, including Alison Krauss, who is kind of bluegrass-country.

Amanda: I love U2.