Lee Valley Skaters achieve new heights

Mina & Chris, Bulgarian Ice Dancers

It is seven years since Mina Zdravkova became a junior student with Lee Valley Ice Dance Coach, Marika Baranova. This year Mina and her ice dance partner, Christopher Davis have attained one of their biggest goals; to qualify for and compete in the ISU European Championships.

The journey has been challenging for these skaters, Chris having had major surgery on his shoulder 2 years in a row to mend an old injury sustained before he met Mina. Each surgery cutting off their competitive season and requiring long rehabilitation. Their strong friendship and team work was the deciding factor in their ability to bounce back.

2018/19 was their first full and uninterrupted senior season, seeing them compete at the Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk where their Bulgarian Folk themed Free Dance became a viral internet sensation among their home nation. So popular in fact that Mina’s Bulgarian Folk inspired Free Dance Dress is now reproduced and available to buy online. There’s a lot of love for this Ice Dance Team in Bulgaria!

So how did they feel about their European Championship debut?

Mina & I were thrilled to qualify for Europeans. We have been dreaming of this event for a long time, so competing with cream of Europe’s Ice Dance talent has certainly been one of the highlights of our competitive career. It was very satisfying to realize our goal after overcoming years of setbacks and the sacrifices we’ve made to continue training. Our coaches, Marika & Vitaliy have supported us through the good and the bad so it was a special moment to be able to share this experience with them.

Christopher M Davis

Watch their performance here!

So what’s next for these determined skaters? For their next 2 events they will be working hard to gain the World qualifying score to earn Bulgaria a spot at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships hosted in Montreal in March. They’ll be using everything they’ve learned from their Euro Championship experience to help them achieve that goal, pushing their training to new heights every day at Lee Valley Ice Centre in London.

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