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Zawadzki eyes worlds in second senior season

Looking for improved free skate performances

Agnes Zawadzki has not decided yet whether to perform a new free skate program next season.
Agnes Zawadzki has not decided yet whether to perform a new free skate program next season. (Getty Images)

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By Vladislav Luchianov, special to icenetwork.com
(06/01/2011) - Agnes Zawadzki exceeded expectations in her debut season in the senior ranks, taking the pewter medal at the 2011 AT&T U.S. Championships and barely missing a medal at the Rostelecom Cup. The scary thing for her competition? The talented young skater, coached by Tom Zakrajsek, is just getting started.

Zawadzki recently spoke to icenetwork.com about her first senior season, mental toughness in the long program and her goal of making it to the world championships next season.

Icenetwork.com: Agnes, this season was the first in the senior ranks for you. What are your impressions of competing at this new level of skating?

Zawadzki: It is definitely different skating in senior than in juniors. The atmosphere is different and so are the standards, but I had a ton of fun, and it was a great learning experience.

Icenetwork.com: And what was the most difficult aspect of moving from junior skating to the senior?

Zawadzki: For me, it was dealing with the new pressures that came with the senior level, but I've been working on dealing with the pressures.

Icenetwork.com: Despite the fact that you were a newcomer, your results were good. Are you satisfied with them?

Zawadzki: I am, but then I am not. My shorts went very well, and I'm happy on how I performed them, but I'm disappointed with my longs. I was training them better, and they didn't come out to the best of their abilities.

Icenetwork.com: In the early years you also tried dance and gymnastics. Does that background help you in your performances?

Zawadzki: I think it does because it gives you a different sense of performance. In dance you express music more emotionally and in gymnastics you really do tricks and elements, so combining them together is like skating. You have the artistry and then you have the hard tricks or elements put into one program.

Icenetwork.com: Agnes, your performances in short programs this season were strong but, in your mind, on which things you should work the most in your free skate?

Zawadzki: In my long, I have to work on my mental toughness and being able to let one mistake go, so it doesn't affect the rest of my program.

Icenetwork.com: How does the participation in charity ice shows such "Ice Dreams" or "Skate-To-Learn" help to popularize figure skating among young people?

Zawadzki: It brings a fun aspect into skating. They'll see the skaters skating to some of their favorite songs and having fun with their performances.

Icenetwork.com: When you were a child, you received an outstanding academic achievement award signed by President George W. Bush. Could you tell us more about it?

Zawadzki: It happened so long ago! I honestly can't remember. The only part I remember is thinking that I was the coolest kid on the planet because I got an award signed by President George W. Bush.

Icenetwork.com: How will you prepare and train for the new season?

Zawadzki: I will be training just the same as last year with a little bit of changes.

Icenetwork.com: Do you already have any ideas of your new programs?

Zawadzki: I do have some ideas for my new programs, but I'm still debating on whether or not I want to keep my long.

Icenetwork.com: Tell us, please, about your thoughts and goals for the next skating season.

Zawadzki: I'm very excited about next year and can't wait for it to come. My goal is to improve as a skater from last year but my ultimate goal this year is to make it to worlds.