Former Del Mar resident makes Olympic team
Rachael Flatt, who grew up in Del Mar, has qualified for the U.S. Olympic figure skating team and will be one of two competitors to represent this country in next month’s Vancouver games.
Flatt won the U.S. Championship outright last week in Spokane, Wash., defeating future teammate Mirai Nagasu and defending silver medalist Sasha Cohen. Nagasu and Flatt won the two spots after Cohen’s anticipated return from tendinitis did not perform up to the judges’ expectations.
“We need to embrace the challenge, and I’m sure we’re both up for it,” Flatt told the Associated Press. “We’re young and spirited and have lots of enthusiasm, so I think that will bode well for the Olympics.”
With a score of 200.11, Flatt finished more than 10 points in front of Nagasu.
The former Del Martian took silver medals in the last two U.S. Championships and won the 2008 Junior World Championship because she was 20 days too young for the senior competition. She finished seventh in the 2009 Worlds when she was eligible to participate.
Only two women will represent the U.S. in Olympic figure skating because the country’s overall performance did not earn a third spot. The last time that happened was in 1994, when the team was marred with scandal between Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan.
The Olympics begin Feb. 12, but the women’s figure skating competition does not start until Feb. 23. Cohen will be a second alternate behind Ashley Wagner in case Flatt or Nagasu cannot compete.
-The Olympic women’s figure skating competition begins Feb. 23. The Olympics Games air on NBC.
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