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Cedar Rapids Skater Making Olympic Run
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - Thursdays US Figure Skating Championships launched a local skater into the National spotlight. Tim LeDuc and his partner, Dee Dee Leng, finished in the top three in the first night of senior skating at TD Garden in Boston.
It was just surreal. It was amazing remembering the kid he was, Tims former coach, Tanya Street-Burgess said after watching the short program.
Leduc got his start at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena at the age of 12. He went on to join the Eastern Iowa Figure Skating Club under coaches Street-Burgess and Amy Blades.
We couldn't have a better person representing our club at the Nationals and possibly the Olympics, Echo Cassill, a friend of Tims and a member of the Eastern Iowa Figure Skating Club said.
19 months ago Leduc and Leng came together as a pair. After just seven months, they skated in their first Nationals as a pair in Omaha, Nebraska. While the team was 6th after their short program, a couple of falls in the free skate landed them in 9th place for the competition.
"We knew that first year was going to be that stepping stone. To see what progress theyve made just within the year has been amazing, Street-Burgess said.
The top two pairs at Nationals, which is the Olympic Trials for figure skating, are generally the teams chosen to go onto the Olympics. After the short program, LeDuc and Leng were just a tenth of a point out of second place.
Its just so unbelievable how close he is, and there's a real chance that he could make it, they could make it to the Olympics, Tims former skating coach, Amy Blades said.
Its kind of a Cinderella story, cause you can see the underdog coming up from Iowa, going to Boston, Massachusetts for Nationals and possibly going on to Sochi, Russia, Cassill said.
With a strong short program behind them, the fairytale ending would come with a perfect free skate and a trip to the Olympics.
"Just thinking about it, my heart is racing, Blades said.
LeDuc and Lengs free skate will air live on NBC at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. The Icenetwork will also air the program.