Rich Westerlund continues to share about their skating in the second part of this article.
Competitive Year 2002"In the fall of 2001 we began putting together a new program skating to music by Beethoven. In the spring of 2002, we competed in Midwesterns in Kansas City (silver medals) and at Adult Nationals in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We placed 5th at Adult Nationals in 2002. In the fall of 2002 we took and passed the newly created Adult Bronze Pair and Adult Silver Pair tests."
Competitive Year 2003 – Bronze Medalists"In the fall of 2002, we began working on a new program to Meditation from the Opera Thais by Massenet. In the spring of 2003 we competed in our third Adult Nationals in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We placed third and won bronze medals. We decided to use the same music for the 2004 season and for our Adult Gold Pair Test in early August. In August we passed our Adult Gold Pair test becoming one of the first pair teams in the country to pass this test."
Competitive Year 2004 – Champions!"Adult Nationals in 2004 were being held in Lake Placid again and we were quite excited to be able to finally compete at Lake Placid. We skated a beautiful program to Meditation and won the Gold Medals in Lake Placid in 2004. We were in shock and both agreed that this was the highlight of our adult skating experience. When we returned to Austin, we were asked by the Austin Figure Skating Club to do a special exhibition. We also had our pictures in the 2004 June/July issue of Skating Magazine with an article about our performance."
Competitive Year 2005"In 2005, I suffered an injury and we were not able to participate in Adult Nationals in Kansas City. During the summer, we traveled to New York City to participate in the Adult Summer Training Camp in Hackensack, New Jersey. In New York, we worked with Artur Dimetriev and John Zimmerman at the Ice House Training Center. It was an incredible experience. During one pairs practice free style session, we were on the ice with John Zimmerman & Kyoko Ina, Artur Demetriev and his Canadian pair team, Peter Tchernyshev and an ice dancing team that he was working with, Sylvia Fontana and Robin Wagner. We were quite intimidated but everyone was very nice and John Zimmerman even helped us with some moves."
Competitive Year 2006"In the fall of 2005 we put together a program to Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise again. We wanted to do it this time to commemorate the 10th year anniversary of the passing of Sergei Grinkov. Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov used this music in their professional careers and Julie and I have always liked the piece. We skated this piece at the 2006 Adult Nationals Dallas, TX and placed fifth. We were happy with the performance and received many compliments from people who saw it."
Competitive Year 2007"Due to injuries we did not compete in Adult Nationals in 2007."
Looking Ahead"We are planning on competing again next year in 2008. We are currently working on another program using theVocalise music. I am now choreographing all of our programs and truly enjoy this creative aspect of the sport. We have remained with the same pairs coach, Barry Kamber, for nearly ten years. He has been a very vital part of our pairs skating and has guided and encouraged us through the years. We would not be where we are today in pairs without him as part of our team. This summer we will travel back to Colorado Springs and practice again at World Arena. We will also be going to Sun Valley, Idaho and plan on skating and taking lessons there."
Our Philosophy of Pairs Skating"In our skating, Julie and I try to incorporate the best of ice dancing and pairs skating. We try to show the romantic relationship between a man and a woman just as the Russian skaters have always tried to do. With each of our performances, we try to tell a romantic story to the audience."
Skaters' BiosJulie Westerlund
- Age 45 in 2007
- Skating Level Adult Gold Pair
- Profession - Professor
- Age 46 in 2007
- Skating Level Adult Gold Pair
- Profession - Teacher / Football Coach
"We have one child, a daughter, Robyn Westerlund. She is also an ice skater."