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The Inside Edge: Gardner shares wisdom via app

Bereswill takes turn in front of camera; Brown motivated by Paris; Faiella ties the knot

Randy Gardner is imparting the knowledge he's accumulated from decades in the sport in the form of an app called "The Rink."
Randy Gardner is imparting the knowledge he's accumulated from decades in the sport in the form of an app called "The Rink." (Jodi Levinson)

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By Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins, special to icenetwork.com
(06/12/2013) - Pairs skating legend Randy Gardner has been busy lately with a new project: an app for mobile devices called "The Rink."

Gardner first had the idea for the app a couple of years ago. Once he and the developer started working on it in earnest, it took about nine months before it was ready to be launched, in May.

"I wanted to share my knowledge and resources through colleagues and friends to help educate other skaters and people in the skating community," Gardner told us. "I share that knowledge with people when I teach or choreograph and when I do interviews, so I thought, let me put it in a digital format."

The app has several sections, including Training Center, Spotlight, Randy's Spin, Tai's Turn, Skating Club, The Show Pro and Skating News. Some of the content is available online at therink.pro.

"There are training tips from experts," Gardner expanded. "There's moderated blogging. I do a monthly piece called Randy's Spin, which is my opinion or things that I've observed. The Training Center has a daily checklist you can use for skating, developed in association with a sports psychologist. Tai [Babilonia] has a page where she kind of writes whatever she wants to. There are pieces on the history of skating coming up. There are some news highlights and links, but it's not a skating news app; I think icenetwork.com and U.S. Figure Skating are pretty good at that."

The site also highlights a "Skater of the Month." Nicole Bobek was the first featured skater, and Wesley Campbell is this month's.

"I like to feature skaters who aren't on the cover of SKATING magazine," Gardner said.

Gardner says he didn't start the app for profit, and that he'll be lucky to break even. He wants to expand the app and the website; his hope is to expand into merchandising, including clothing.

"I'd like to do a really good turtleneck," he said.

We hope so too, as a good turtleneck is hard to find.

Riverdance

Jason Brown will be debuting his new Riverdance free skate, choreographed by Rohene Ward, this month at the Broadmoor Open, albeit without all the triples.

"It's extremely hard for me to do, definitely one of the hardest pieces I've done," he said. "I've never had such a fast-paced long before. The steps are very intricate and very cadenced, at different speeds. Rohene always puts a twist on things."

Brown uses his Grand Prix assignment as motivation to push through running sections at altitude.

"When I'm doing my program and I'm dying, I'm like, 'Paris, Paris, Paris!' I'm able to breathe at the end of the footwork. It gives me hope. If I can do it in Colorado, I can do it anywhere."

Model

Pairs skater Becky Bereswill has always looked like a model, and lately she has been modeling for real. Look for her, beautiful as ever, in the spring-summer Volkswagen DriverGear catalogue. (See it online here.)

During the shoot, photographers in California took shots of cars and sent them to the studio in Michigan, where Bereswill was standing by.

"It was funny. It was sunny in California and cold and rainy in Michigan in a studio," Bereswill said. "We had to face the right angle."

Bereswill was contacted by an agent in Michigan after she tried out for a car commercial.

"He asked me if I'd be interested in working with him, and it went from there," she said. "I'm just starting to get into it. It's a lot of fun, and it's a great way to earn some income. I feel like a lot of experience with skating -- as far as showing up on time, taking directions, having high energy -- really helps."

Bereswill appeared in a jewelry commercial over the holidays in which she played a public skater whose hockey player boyfriend proposes to her.

"I thought I would be in the background, and they were like, 'Oh no, we need you to act,'" she said. "I might be doing a cheerleading catalogue, but I haven't confirmed that."

On the ice, Bereswill is enjoying her new partnership with Josh Reagan. They have a new short program, choreographed by Massimo Scali, to "Clair de Lune."

"We're really excited," she said. "It's been fun. I feel like every day is a new day. The improvement is really rapid. Eventually, midway through your season, you hit a plateau, but at this point it's really motivating, getting new tricks every day."

Skating headed to the Paralympics some day?

Tiffany Scott, the 2003 U.S. pairs champion with Philip Dulebohn, traveled to Dumfries, Scotland, last month with her student, senior lady Danielle Fanelle. Fanelle, who has less than half normal hearing and wears hearing aids, competed in the second annual international Impaired Skating competition for skaters with disabilities.

To create a level playing field for the skaters, each competitor receives a "whole person impairment score." This is factored into their score, which is based on international judging system. The competition was held under ISU rule 107.14; skaters with any form of impairment were allowed to enter.

Fanelle competed in the Level 11 group, which is the equivalent of ISU senior, and received 61.76 points for her free skate. She was the only senior skater in the competition.

"Scotland was such an incredible experience," she said. "I became the first U.S. skater -- and the first senior skater -- to compete in a competition for skaters with disabilities. This competition was so humbling to see so many skaters who just skate purely for the love of it. I think as skaters we get so lost in the idea of wanting to win and scoring points that we forget why we began: for the love of it."

"We didn't even hear about [the competition] until this past summer," Scott said. "I was in London working at the summer Olympics with the University of Delaware, and I was wondering why there is no figure skating in the Paralympics. I looked into it and found this organization."

Scott hopes to organize a similar competition in the U.S. Her goal, and that of Impaired Skating, is to get the event included in the Paralympic Games.

"I would like to go to a rehab center and see if skating would maybe help them," Scott said. "It helps with strengthening, balance, confidence and self-esteem. I'd like to reach out to any skater with a disability who might want to compete. From there, [I could] maybe create a program for incoming skaters."

"It was so nice to be around so many other skaters like me, and talk to them about how they cope with their disabilities," Fanelle said. "I met skaters with all kinds of disabilities, such as sight loss and the inability to use some of their limbs. I feel so fortunate that I got to experience this. It was amazing."

Hatch and match

Congratulations to 2010 world bronze medalist ice dancer Federica Faiella, who married Lorenzo Ridolfi on April 27 in Capena, Italy, where the couple lives.

"Our plan for the future is to be a good mom and dad," Faiella said, "[And] can you write also that he is my Piccolo Lord -- I always call him like that!"

Congratulations, too, to Silvia Fontana and John Zimmerman, who welcomed their second daughter on June 2. Eva Maria Zimmerman was born 14 months to the day after big sister Sofia Rose.

"We are very happy with our two angels," Fontana told us.

And Scott also told us she and her husband, Brian Pryor, are expecting their second child in October. Their first child, Logan, was born in March 2012.

Congratulations to all,

Sarah and Drew

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