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Five favorite things with Kemp and King

Proud British team loves Indian food, electrical storms in Florida

British pair Stacey Kemp and David King make finding an Indian restaurant a priority.
British pair Stacey Kemp and David King make finding an Indian restaurant a priority. (Getty Images)

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By icenetwork.com
(07/25/2012) - The rink in Ellenton, Fla., is ringing with the sounds of Britannia these days, as seven-time British pairs champions Stacey Kemp and David King perfect their free skate to a medley of British composer Edward Elgar's most famous works, including "Pomp and Circumstance."

"This summer, they were inspired by the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and wanted to bring their culture into their skating, because they know they have a couple of years left and they want to make their mark with that," said Jim Peterson, who coaches the team with Lyndon Johnston.

Prior to arriving in Ellenton last season, the duo -- who are engaged to be married -- trained in Lancashire, England, and Torun, Poland. Although they're thrilled with their training facilities, living in the U.S. still took a little getting used to, and King joined a cricket league to get together with like-minded ex-pats. It was while watching scenes of the Jubilee with another of their coaches, fellow Brit Alison Smith, that they came up with the idea for an Elgar medley.

"We had a British day, so all our flags were blazing," King said. "Alison was in tears, and she came up with [Elgar's] 'Enigma.' Then 'Pomp and Circumstance' came on TV, and Mr. Peterson found a lovely part for the beginning of the program, and it came together so easily."

The skaters, who placed 16th at the 2010 Olympics, will travel to their homeland for the London Games, on the invitation of the British Olympic Association (BOA).

"Through the BOA, we've got tickets to four events," said King, who writes an athlete's blog for the BOA. "Stacey got canoe slalom; she'll be taking a group of school kids around and explaining about the Olympics. I got the same but for wrestling, and we both got the archery finals and gymnastics."

Otherwise, it's work, work, work.

"Their lifts have always been very good; however, Lyndon and I have been making adjustments according to the new features this season," Peterson said. "The throw triple flip is a great addition to their programs, and we are planning a catch on their triple twist while adding in the solo triple toes. We are confident Stacey and David will be stepping up their game this season."

Icenetwork.com: What do you like most about living in Florida?

Both: The weather!

King: Even the electrical storms you see are amazing. It's beautiful to sit on the veranda and watch the storms going on. And the training is second to none. It's just been amazing, training with top-level teams.

Icenetwork.com: You're eating in tonight. What will you cook?

King: I cook curries. Chicken curry is my favorite. We actually try and find all the Indian restaurants wherever we go; even in Poland we found one. We ate at an Indian restaurant every night.

Kemp: I like to make lasagna; it's one of my favorite things to cook.

Icenetwork.com: What's on your iPods?

Both: I bit of everything, a big mix ... We play things like indie rock. British pop and that kind of music, like Oasis.

Icenetwork.com: What soccer teams do you root for?

King: You mean what football teams are we for. My team, the Blackburn Rovers, got relegated [out of the Premier League, England's top-tier of teams] last season. They were fine when I was there, but as soon as I leave, they're out. They are from Lancashire, where we used to train in the U.K.

Kemp: I'm for Manchester United.

Icenetwork.com: Any favorite films?

King: I'm a bit of a movie buff. I watch a lot of films; I can't really say one. The ones that stick out are classics like Gladiator, Matrix, Shawshank Redemption.

Kemp: I like Disney films.