(December 11, 2007)
Senior Pair skaters Rachel Kirkland and Eric Radford have a special project coming their way before Christmas that they are extremely excited about. The couple has been invited to skate in André Rieu’s World Stadium Tour at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, December 14-15, 2007. They will also perform in André Rieu’s tour in Europe next spring.
This amazing opportunity to be involved with the acclaimed conductor and violinist’s tour came through Rachel and Eric’s coach Ingo Steuer who was asked to choreograph the tour and select the skaters. Canadian Junior Pair skaters Monica Pisotta and Michael Stewart will also be part of the show in Toronto.
“We feel very honoured to have the opportunity to perform in André Rieu’s World Stadium Tour. He is a great artist and musician and to be able to perform to his music live will be an amazing experience,” says Rachel.
The preparation for the show has been very intense and Rachel and Eric have been working very hard to ensure the program is flawless since it will be filmed for television. They have been working with Monica and Michael to teach them the program and perfect it. They will be performing to the song “My Heart Will Go On” from the movie Titanic while André Rieu performs it in the middle of the ice.
In the New Year Rachel and Eric will head to Dresden, Germany, to skate in the German National Championships January 2-7, 2008.
“We are excited to be skating at German Nationals alongside World Bronze Medalists and European Champions Aljona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy,” says Eric. “We have had the incredible opportunity of training with them this year and our coach suggested we compete at German Nationals to give us more international experience. He asked the German Federation to extend an invitation to us and everything worked out.”
The Canadian pair team will travel to Germany to train for another three weeks after their Toronto appearances in the André Rieu shows and finish this training period with the German Nationals.
“Training in Germany with one of the top teams in the world has really given us perspective on what it takes to be world class skaters,” says Rachel. “It will be a great warm up to the Canadian Championships and since we don’t have a lot of competition experience we think it’s a great opportunity.”
Rachel and Eric have been skating together since June 2005. After an impressive fifth place finish at last year’s Canadian Championships, they followed up with a strong fourth place finish at their first international event, the 2007 Nebelhorn Trophy. They will compete at the 2008 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships in Vancouver, January 16-20, 2008 and are looking to move up the standings this year. They were the 2006 Canadian Junior Silver Medalists.