After an outstanding season which saw them on the podium at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships, Bermudian born Vanessa James and her partner Morgan Cipres head into the 2017/2018 season aiming for an Olympic Medal.
The pair are in Florida training, but James answered a few questions put to her from ISU.org.
Q: How do you feel about the past season?
A: I’m very happy and proud of the step that we’ve made. I don’t know by how many points we improved (our personal best) since last year, probably it is like 35 or so and it is with not perfect programs. At Europeans we had two great programs which was amazing. All things considered after great performances at Europeans and Grand Prix (in France) lots of expectations, still fought for it at Worlds and had a really good score all things considered. I think we changed places for next year. Next year, instead of fighting trying to move up we are already in a different group now, at a different level. So we’re starting right where we need to be to be at the top for the Olympics. It’s cool.
Q: What have been doing since World Team Trophy?
A: After WTT we started new choreography and went on a much needed vacation. We were happy to have won the pairs competition but mostly proud to have skated so well for our coach Jeremy Barrett and his wife Lucy who was diagnosed the day before our short program with leukemia. These kind of tragic events bring life into perspective.
Q: What can you tell us about your new programs?
A: Our new programs suit us. We didn't try to copy or keep the same style as last year, though a lot of people asked us to keep our programs. Both styles of each program are very different with more transitions than last year. We both are completely in love with the themes, songs and choreography.
Q: How is your preparation for the season going?
A: The preparation for Olympic season is going well. We are pleased with our new programs and hope the judges and audience love them as much or more so than last year's which were big hits!
Nothing is new nor different in our training. We are trying to keep everything the same as last year which worked well for us. We just changed our location. We are lucky to be at such an amazing facility in Wesley Chapel with five rinks and everything we could possibly need.