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Korpi to train with Arutunian in Lake Arrowhead

Finnish champ says 'radical change' was needed
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Kiira Korpi will make her season debut next month at the Nebelhorn Trophy. -Getty Images

Kiira Korpi, a four-time Finnish champion and two-time Olympian, will train with Rafael Arutunian in Lake Arrowhead, Calif., her federation announced Friday.

Korpi has been working with the famed coach since last month. The two got to know each other at a national team training camp in the spring in Vierumäki, where Arutunian had been invited as a guest coach.

"I felt I was, as an athlete, at a point where I needed a radical change to advance one more step further," Korpi said in a press release. "I also wanted to get 'sparring help' from the world's best skaters."

Other skaters who are training under Arutunian's tutelage include two-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner, two-time world junior champion Adam Rippon and 2012 U.S. junior champion Nathan Chen.

Korpi's first scheduled competition is the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy next month in Oberstdorf, Germany, where she will attempt to qualify places for Finland in next year's Olympic Winter Games.

"I know I won't be quite ready at Oberstdorf yet, but my goal is to get the Olympic spot. I believe it is completely possible even though I am not yet in 100 percent shape," Korpi said. "In Sochi, I aim to be in top condition."

The three-time European medalist has missed the last two world championships because of a variety of lower-body ailments.

"Cooperation with the new coach has started well, and my motivotion is at the highest," Korpi said. "At the moment, I'm bursting with enthusiasim, but I try also to train wisely and listen to my body so that my health would stay as good as possible."

Her coaching team will also include Nadia Kanaeva and Vera Arutunian.