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AP McDonough All Set to Become No. 1 Figure Skater

Posted January. 16, 2003 23:33,   


She was only a one-year-old Korean girl when she was adopted by an American family, and now she is aiming to become the No. 1 figure skater in the country. Ann Patrice McDonough, an 18-year-old called `the second Michelle Kwan` will compete in the U.S. Women`s Figure Skating Championships held in Dallas, Texas from January 17.

She will compete with the world`s leading players like 2002 Winter Olympic gold medallist Sara Hughes and Kwan, who is set to grab the first place for the seventh time.

It is honor for Donough to compete with the big-name players on an equal par, yet she has been performing so well that she won the free-advance ticket granted to only the top 9 players.

The Associated Press introduced her as a rising star with a great potential, and Dallas-based the Morning News reported, ˝She had been the No. 1 junior player and climbed to the second place in Campbell Challenge following Kwan.˝

McDonough was not qualified for the Olympics last year after making a mistake in jumping and got ranked the sixth. This year, she is all set to prove herself. McDonough, now being more mature than ever before, will play in the tune of Puccini`s `Madam Butterfly,` exercising such high-level techniques as a double excel and a triple jump.

According to her profile posted on her Web site (www.annpatrice.com), she was born in Seoul and adopted by an American family when she was only 14 months old. She started playing figure skating when she was four influenced by her Korean mother who likes figure skating. In 1996, she won the U.S. Junior Championships at the age of 11 and caught the spotlight as a figure skating wiz kid.

Struggling with a slump in 1999, she watched her friend and rival Nam Na-ri, a Korean American of the same age with her, climbing the second spot in the U.S. Championships. In 2000, she was back to figure skating, winning the junior championship after four years. She was here in Korea in January last year, performing beautifully at the Four Continents Championships.

She respects Japanese American Christine Yamaguchi most, who won the gold medal in 1992 Albertville Olympics. Her goal is to become the world`s No. 1 like Yamaguchi in the 2006 Torino Olympics held in Italy. It will be thrilled to watch the first Korean figure skating gold medallist.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com