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Happy to make worlds, Lacoste trains relentlessly

Canadian champion works hard before heading to Nice

Though she was not at her best, Amelie Lacoste beat Cynthia Phaneuf at Four Continents.
Though she was not at her best, Amelie Lacoste beat Cynthia Phaneuf at Four Continents. (Getty Images)

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By Lois Elfman, special to icenetwork.com
(03/16/2012) - Having secured her spot on the Canadian team for the 2012 World Figure Skating Championships by placing ahead of Cynthia Phaneuf at the Four Continents championships, 2012 Canadian ladies champion Amélie Lacoste allowed herself a brief celebration. She went out to dinner with her boyfriend, parents and sister.

"Then I went back to training because we only had like a month and a half before worlds. No time to party," Lacoste said during a teleconference on Friday morning.

She said training is going well. Skate Canada Director of High Performance Mike Slipchuk and President Benoît Lavoie have been carefully monitoring her training and have made some suggestions to help her do her best.

"In the short program, every single day we're putting the triple loop-triple loop, so I get used to it and I'm more and more confident every day," Lacoste said. "With Skate Canada, we conclude that I should do a triple Salchow instead of triple Lutz in my short program so I do a clean short program, with no pressure on my shoulders, and just enjoy the performance. That's new for me.

"In my long program, it's just to practice my long program over and over again thinking about every time I do it to put myself like I am in competition, so I'm more calm when I will be in Nice and more confident."

While winning the title at the 2012 Canadian Championships was a "dream come true" for Lacoste, 23, it didn't come with an automatic trip to the world championships. Skate Canada said the one Canadian ladies berth would go to either Lacoste or Phaneuf based on their finishes at the Four Continents Championships.

Lacoste said heading into Four Continents her coaches had her focus on training for the competition and not the Skate Canada decision, but she admitted her performances in Colorado Springs were not her best.

"I didn't perform what I wanted to do, but now my head is very focused on the worlds," she said. "Taking every single day to train very well, to be well prepared for worlds and have the greatest experience of my life.

"My main goal is to enjoy the competition, to take it as a new opportunity and perform what I do in practice and not think about the result. Obviously, we want a top 10, but if I only think about that, it won't go well. So I need to focus on myself and what I can control and just enjoy everything."

Nice will be Lacoste's second worlds. She finished 16th last year in Moscow.

Lacoste continues to work on details in her programs. She has not been able to go to Toronto to work with her short program choreographer, Shae-Lynn Bourne, but she has been in touch with Bourne via the internet -- at times sending her video clips. Bourne emails back some critiques and suggestions.

Although performance is at the top of Lacoste's list, she is honest in saying she's striving for a top-10 finish in order to assure Canada two ladies berths for 2013 worlds, to be held in London, Ontario.

"In my head, it's top five, but I'm not focusing on the result because I cannot control that," Lacoste said. "I'm focusing only on what I can control: It's my performance."