Manzano figures titles worth cost.
By Chris Wilson.
Canberra Times, March 28, 2002
Miriam Manzano didn't just look at the scoreboard, she
has photos of it after making the finals of the World
Figure Skating Championships in Japan last week. Manzano,
who took out a personal bank loan to attend her first
World Championships since 1995, achieved a career-best
27, said the performance had re-ignited her dream to compete
at the Winter Olympics before she retired. Manzano, controversially
over-looked for the past two Olympics, was chosen as Australia's
sole female representative at the World Championships.
Having qualified for the finals for the first time, Manzano
was drawn to skate first. To her surprise and delight,
she was still in front after a dozen skaters had completed
long-time coach Reg Park kept taking photos of the scoreboard
after every performance. 'He said imagine if something
like a Steve Bradbury happened,' Manzano recalled, referring
to the luck of Australia's first Winter Olympics gold
medallist. 'I didn't expect that, but in the back of my
mind I did think what if.' As it turned out, Manzano did
not get Bradbury's charm. But the result has inspired
her to finish her career with an Olympic debut in Italy,
Manzano has dreamed of skating at the Olympics since she
was 12. 'It feels like my past life,' Manzano said. 'I
took a break from the sport, but now I've come back and
somehow I'm starting to be that skater I always wanted
to be. 'Before I used to be so tough on myself and I saw
everything as a huge obstacle. Now I'm enjoying my skating
a lot more and it's coming a lot easier. 'On my way back
[to Canberra] I was sitting there and thinking what now.
There's no way I'm leaving it at this. It [the Olympics]
isn't really that far away. It would be fantastic to finish
my career with an Olympic Games.
got this fire - something inside you tells you to go for
it. For me, I feel like I'd be cheating myself if I turned
away now.' While Manzano is skating better than she ever
has, she said there was a lot of room for improvement.
Manzano's long program at the World Championships was
choreographed in 1997. Manzano will begin work on a new
routine, incorporating a difficult triple-triple which
she said could propel her into the world's top 10.
major difference [at the World Championships] was that
they had a lot of experience at that world level," she
said. "Their choreography had lots of little bits and
pieces. That's the next step for me, to get that together.'
Manzano is hoping to be invited to the Japan Grand Prix
event when the international season begins in August and
she plans to defend her Australian title at the national
championships in December.