Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko paired up in 2014 and have since won two World Junior Figure Skating Championships medals, silver at the 2017 Junior Grand Prix Final and their first junior national title at the 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. This season, their first on the senior level, they’ve already won bronze at Nebelhorn Trophy, which was held last week in Oberstdorf, Germany. After the short dance, Christina and Anthony commented on their performance.
You had a fantastic skate, very confident, very strong out there. How do you feel about your performance?
I’m really happy with how we skated. I think it was a little bit better than what we did in Salt Lake. We hadn’t had that much time in between to improve a lot, but I think we did a good job today.
I think we did really well. We had a lot more confidence than we did in Salt Lake City. For sure, there’s always much more to work on, but we’re really happy with how we skated today.
This is your first senior season and second senior competition so far. How confident are you feeling?
Well, competing at the senior level is really different. I think being around all the teams with so much experience, so much confidence is going to rub on us eventually and hopefully we’ll have as much confidence as them. To be honest, last year in junior was a little bit stressful, we felt like people expected results more.
Being the younger ones again in competition feels great, it feels like we have nothing to lose. We just go out there and skate with confidence and try to give as much energy as possible. Being one of the top junior teams, you always have to skate clean. Like I said, this year we really have nothing to lose, so we just go out there and do our best.
Now that Madison and Evan have moved to Montreal, do you feel that you’re now one of the leaders in your group?
Yes, we’re one of the top teams. We have Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje coming to train with us, and they’re great role models, great people. I don’t think we feel any extra pressure. We still train the same as we did before. We work hard.
We work a lot independently, away from our coaches, so basically being the top team or not the top team, we still work the same way. Of course being a top team is a bonus, but we work the same way no matter what.
What made your decision to go senior?
We talked with our coaches and we thought it’d be a good year to move up. After the Olympics is always a good year, and we felt like we were ready.
How difficult was it for you to learn the Tango Romantica?
It was extremely difficult, it’s one of the hardest senior dances. It took us about three months to just kind of settle in and get confident with the dance.
I think it’s my favorite dance ever, because it’s a lot more challenging than all the other ones that we did. So it never gets boring. You could spend four hours on just the Tango and still not have it be boring.
Anthony, did you ever work with your mum and dad?
I actually worked with them my whole life. Up until I was 12 I worked with them only, and then my mom said that I no longer listened to her, so I moved to Igor Shpilband for full time.
This summer, she worked with us on the Tango Romantica. She’s very helpful. She comes in to Igor’s camp every now and again and helps us with our patterns and stuff like that.
And was it hard for you to train with your mum?
It was when I was 12, I was a rebellious kid, kind of, “I’m not listening to you,”(laughs) but now I feel like she has a lot of insight in ice dance, so I listen to her very carefully.
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
Just to show that we’re able to compete at the senior level. We’re very young. We’re one of the youngest senior teams out there, so we just want to show that we can compete with confidence.
Thank you so much for the interview. Good luck!
Ludmila ORLOVA, Oberstdorf.