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The Inside Edge: It's spelled L.A.D.W.I.G.

Ladwig finds other ways to support his skating; Moore-Towers, Moscovitch burn for redemption

Mark Ladwig and senior competitor Brad Vigorito at the Colonial Figure Skating Club.
Mark Ladwig and senior competitor Brad Vigorito at the Colonial Figure Skating Club. (Sarah S. Brannen)

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By Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins, special to icenetwork.com
(08/17/2012) - We were surprised to see Mark Ladwig, who lives and trains in Florida, checking in at the Colonial Figure Skating Club on a recent rainy morning. After he skated a session, Ladwig obligingly sat down for a little interview without even taking his skates off.

"Hello, this is Mark Ladwig," he deadpanned. "M. A. R. K. L. A. D. W. I. G. That's G as in George, not C, not CK, not a C."

Ladwig told us he travels about one weekend a month for work; he's a technical representative for the Jackson Ultima skate company.

"It's an excellent job, an excellent fit for me," Ladwig said. "It's part-time work, so I can continue to skate. I'm actually here helping Cook's skate supply today, helping promote the brand, and just talking about the product with them and making sure things are going well."

Ladwig was excited about an upcoming show with his new partner Lindsay Davis in Lake Placid, their first show together.

"The partnership's coming along really well; we just passed the one-month mark," he said. "We have both our programs, we have all our elements pretty well placed. We're fine-tuning a couple of the lifts. Those are the things that are going to take the most work. We can jump pretty well, we can spin pretty well, but the lifts are going to take some polishing."

We mentioned an interesting lift Drew saw the pair doing at "An Evening on Ice" in Los Angeles.

"Interesting? It is dang well surprising!" Ladwig said. "It's a spread eagle takeoff for the guy, and the girl does a falling leaf, I catch her in a split and it's technically a group 4 hand-to-hand lift. It's similar to a loop press, how the girl's back is to the guy's chest. The thing is, because we're not going backward, there's no toe-scratching. It's a difficult entry, and I knew that it was something that was well within our capability."

Before we left, we asked for an update on Ladwig's son, Holden, who will turn 3 years old in September.

"He's big!" said Ladwig. "He's 42 pounds, 39 inches tall. He's off the growth chart for a less-than-3-year-old. He's talking up a storm. He saw Toy Story the other day, so now he's nothing but Buzz Lightyear. To infinity and beyond!"

Busy pair

After extensive and complicated schedule-wrangling, we finally managed to get Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch on the phone this week. The pair won Skate Detroit and then blew the doors off the field at the Indy Pairs Challenge. They're hard at work preparing for the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic in Salt Lake City and, soon after, Cup of China and the NHK Trophy.

As you may recall, Moore-Towers and Moscovitch won the Canadian title in 2011, only to finish off the world team, in fourth place, after a disastrous competition at the 2012 Canadian championships.

"After last season, I personally had to reevaluate my goals and get a spicier attitude," Moore-Towers said. "I knew, going into Indy, we were planning to win. There were defintely a lot of good teams, and they didn't make it easy for us. I hope we can build on those scores."

"We have more of a big-picture goal in mind, and every day we're putting the whole picture together," Moscovitch said. "Detroit and Indy were springboard-type competitions to get us back into competing mode. We were thrilled and excited [to win]. We learned a lot from last season."

"It's not easy to have your next competition after a catastrophe," Moore-Towers said. "The pressure of last season, coming off our first title, we could have handled it better. After we won our title, I was thinking, 'Defend, defend,' and it was all wrong. I got really nervous and scared before I competed, because I thought, 'What if, what if...'"

"I'd never had a skate as bad as nationals, but the sun came out the next day and it's not the end of the world. We would have loved to go to worlds, but we had to grow on it somehow."

"We definitely had to re-evaluate," Moscovitch said. "We sat down with our coaches and decided what direction we wanted to go this year. We broke down some of our elements, like twist, and played with the quality of our elements, raising the levels of some of the stuff. Our jumps and throws have always been consistent, so we really spent our time working on finesse things and improving the quality of our partnership."

As well as putting in three hours on the ice each day, the pair does a ton of off-ice training. The day we spoke, Moore-Towers said the day had started with a spinning class at 6:00 a.m., followed by Pilates. Moscovitch added that they still had a boxing cross-training class to come, and a weight workout for him.

On top of all that, Moscovitch takes martial arts classes a couple of times a week. He told us he used to train in kung fu with Elvis Stojko's teacher, Glen Doyle.

"He worked with me, not only on kung fu, but also on mental strength," Moscovitch said. "We also did some specific stuff to help my skating. I'm actually quite tame."

Tame, maybe, but he's currently taking karav maga, Israeli self-defense combat training. We asked Moore-Towers if she ever goes with him.

"Oh, no!" she said, laughing. "I do quite enjoy learning about different things, though."

The pride of Moore-Towers' life at the moment is her new puppy, Delilah.

"She's the center of my life," she said. "She's three-quarters Yorkie and one quarter Shih tzu: a Shorkie! She was a present for my 20th birthday."

The pair is eager to return to China, where they have competed before, and to visit Japan. Moscovitch hasn't been to Japan since 2003, when he competed as a singles skater on the Junior Grand Prix, against Evan Lysacek and Nobunari Oda. And after that, they hope for redemption at the Canadian championships.

"We want to aim for the world podium," Moscovitch said. "We want to be recognized as top three in the world, with the right elements and the right attitude. We're attacking the season like every competition is an opportunity to raise our level, to feel like the top people in the world."

Cast additions at Harvard

There are a couple of additions to the cast of "An Evening With Champions," which will take place Sept. 29 and 30 in Boston. Ross Miner will skate in the show, as will pair Kylie Duarte and Colin Grafton. More additions to the cast will be announced soon.

Enjoy the rest of your summer,
Sarah and Drew
sarahanddrewblog@gmail.com
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