Razzano returns to Team USA at Ice Challenge

“Representing the United States, Douglas Razzano.”Douglas Razzano

Two-years removed from a fourth place finish at the 2007 Junior Grand Prix Final, his last international competition, Razzano is anxious to hear those words again. He will when he steps onto the ice at the Ice Challenge, Oct. 28-Nov. 1, in Graz, Austria.

“I am so glad to be back on the international scene,” he said. “I worked exceedingly hard over the summer to show good, solid programs at my two competitions and that hard work has paid off.”

At the Liberty Open, he finished first in the short program with 67.50 points, ahead of a deep field that included two Grand Prix  competitiors, Armin Mahbanoozadeh (60.40) and Ryan Bradley (54.75). He was fourth in the free program (115.06) to 2009 World Championship silver medalist Patrick Chan of Canada.

He improved to finished first in the short program (79.08) and second in the free skate (193.05) at the Golden West Championships in Culver City, Calif., leading to his selection for his first senior international.

“You know, since the Ice Challenge is my first senior international event, I don’t have any expectation placement wise,” Razzano said. “However, I do expect a lot of myself and want to skate two great programs. I am my toughest critic so being satisfied with two performances would be awesome.”

With a quadruple toe in each program, Razzano, who trains with Doug Ladret in Scottsdale, Ariz., feels prepared to be a contender in Austria. He will face American Shaun Rogers as well as the Czech Republic’s Tomas Verner, the 2008 European Champion, and France’s Alban Preaubert, who won two bronzes on the Grand Prix last season.

“Summer and fall training have been going very well,” he said. “I really worked hard physically on stamina and doing my jumps while exhausted. That’s the key to doing successful programs: Knowing you can do your jumps while your dead tired. The programs have also been going pretty well with a few things here and there.

“I have learned that for me, it’s not good when I do good run throughs all the time,” he said. “I almost need a bad one to act as a wake-up call for me to keep everything in check. Overall, my coach and I are happy with this season thus far.”

Razzano hopes the Ice Challenge leads to a successful international career.

“I would really like to be on the team for Four Continents Championship in Korea,” he said. “Obviously the Olympics are the ultimate goal, but for this season, a top six placement at the U.S. Championships and a trip to Korea would be amazing.”

At the 2009 U.S. Championships in Cleveland, Razzano finished 14th.

“Between last season and now, I have really been focused on repetition and detail,” he said. “Since I kept my free skate from last season (to the music of The Red Violin soundtrack), it feels very comfortable. I am always trying to build upon that comfort so I don’t get complacent about it and so that the program keeps growing.

“I have a new short program this season to the music of Claire de Lune,” he said. “It is choreographed by Shin Amano and I absolutely love it. It’s not like anything I’ve ever done before and it’s music that keeps me very calm while I’m doing it. For me, that’s key.”

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