It's Icing On The Cake As Miriam Wins 4th Title.
By Candy Gibson
City News, September 7, 2004

When it comes to skating on thin ice, 29-year-old Miriam Manzano has got it down to a fine art. But thereís nothing risky about this Mawson figure skaterís technique. In fact, her graceful manoeuvres have been rewarded in spectacular fashion.

Miriam has just won the Australian Ladies Figure Skating Championships for the fourth year in succession.

Taking out the title in Sydney on August 29, the talented Canberran now has five national titles to her credit.

What makes her achievements remarkable is the fact that Miriam took a two-year hiatus from ice skating between 1998 and 2000.

She credits the break with her renewed enthusiasm and continued success in the past four years.

"I started ice skating relatively late - as a 12-year-old - but I was consumed with it for more than 10 years," she said. "I climbed the ranks very quickly and was Junior Champion one year and then National Champion the next."

Burnout was inevitable and the Mawson skater decided to withdraw from the rink and explore real life on the outside.

"After two years I really started to miss it, though, and was keen to get back on the ice."

Miriam said her return to competition in 2000, with a much stronger and fitter body, and with a more mature outlook, has paid dividends.

"Ice skating has changed a lot in recent years. It is a lot more athletic now and more strength is required.

"I love the combination of artistry, freedom and athleticism. Itís a great sense of freedom."

Miriamís next goal is the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turino, Italy.