Rockne Brubaker, Keauna McLaughlin, and Tai Babilonia - January 3, 2009
Photo by JO ANN Schneider Farris
Figure Skating Legend Mentors Pair Skating Champions:
World pair skating champion, five-time U.S. champion and figure skating legend Tai Babilonia was asked by 2008 and 2009 U.S. national pair skating champions Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker
to be the pair team's mentor.
Tai Babilonia and Keauna McLaughlin Have Much In Common:
Keauna McLaughlin and Tai Babilonia have much in common. Both skaters came into the figure skating limelight at a very young age. Keauna is about the same age as Tai was when she first came into the public eye.
Tai Knows What It is Like to Be a Young Pair Skating Champion:
Babilonia knows what McLaughlin is going to go through. Tai knows what it is like to have the world watching every move a skater makes on and off the ice. She knows what it's like to want to defend the U.S. pair skating title.
Recommendations From Tai Babilonia - How to Be a Figure Skating Champion:
Tai has given the young pair team of McLaughlin and Brubaker the following recommendations:
- Stay together through thick and thin.
- Respect one another.
- Respect your coach.
- Treat your fans with respect.
- Act like a champion on and off the ice.
- Put all your emotions into your skating performances.
Tai Babilonia Gave Keauna McLaughlin a Good Luck Charm:
In January of 2009, when Babilonia traveled to Colorado to spend time with the pair, at their first lunch together, Tai gave Keauna McLaughlin a gift. The gift was a crescent moon charm that Babilonia had treasured for many years. McLaughlin now wears the gift Tai Babilonia gave her for good luck. Babilonia owns a similar crescent moon good-luck charm
that was given to her in 1979 by rock star Stevie Nicks. Like Tai Babilonia, Keauna McLaughlin never takes the locket off.