Miriam eyes Olympics Miriam chases her dream
Northside Chronicle
1 October 2003

OLYMPIC hopeful Miriam Manzano says she can almost taste and smell success because of the public's support.

The full-time figure skater, who needs a major sponsor, has been overwhelmed by Brisbane's hospitality.

The senior ladies Australian champion, 28, moved from the Australian Capital Territory to Acacia Ridge in June to help her qualify for Italy's Winter Olympics in 2006.

She has training sessions at Boondall and Acacia Ridge's Iceworld, and has been given free ice time at both centres, plus Toowong's Majestic Health Massage has donated its time to keep her body stress-free.

Ms Manzano, ranked 25th in the world, said the support made it easier to make Australia proud.

"I dream about it (going to the Olympics). It's here. I can feel it and I can taste it," Ms Manzano said.

"It feels real because this is my best opportunity."

In the meantime, Ms Manzano will compete in several overseas events and hopes to improve her world ranking with the help of coach Colin Jackson.

The petite athlete, who measures 153cm, has tasted success before. She was junior Australian champion at 15 and, a couple of years later, took the same title at a senior level.

She took a two-year hiatus in 2000, and just missed the only Australian female spot for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002. She also narrowly missed out on representing Australia at the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998.

Determined to turn her dream into a reality, Ms Manzano quit her full-time job earlier this year to move to Queensland.

The figure skater must be in the top 24 at a world championships in the year before the olympics and the Australian Olympic Committee has to nominate her before she can compete in Italy.