Stefania Berton/Ondrej Hotarek: “We want to bring more interpretation into our routines”
By Vladislav Luchianov
Stefania Berton and Ondrej Hotarek are loved by many skating fans. They won the audience practically from their first appearance in a pair skating as a team. Each of them are very talented but much more importantly that they are constantly working on the development of their talents. This season Stefania and Ondrej wrote their names in the history of Italian figure skating and I think that it was just a beginning.
Stefania began her sports career as a single skater. She took the silver at the 2007 Italian National Figure Skating Championships and placed 6th at the 2006 JGP Final. In ice dancing she performed with Marco Fabbi at the novice level.
Ondrej Hotarek also began his career as a single skater. He competed for the Czech Republic and took the bronze at the 2003 & 2004 Czech National Championships.
He then switched to pair skating and performed with Veronika Havlickova. In 2006 Ondrej began competing with Laura Magitteri for Italy. They were the 2007 and 2008 Italian national champions. Their partnership ended in January, 2009.
Stefania Berton started her sporting cooperation with Ondrej Hotarek to compete in pair skating in early 2009. They took the silver medal at the 2010 Italian nationals. After that they were selected to compete at the World Championships. They placed 11th in their debut at the Worlds in Torino.
During the next season, Stefania and Ondrej won silver medal at the Nebelhorn Trophy and also debuted at the Grand Prix circuit, finishing 6th at the Rostelecom Cup. They won their first Italian national title and were selected to participate at the 2011 European Championships in Bern, Switzerland. Italian team placed 4th in the short program and 5th in free skating, setting personal bests in both programs, and finished 5th overall.
The season of 2011/12 they began at the 2011 Ondrej Nepela Memorial, where Stefania and Ondrej won the silver. In the Grand Prix season they placed 4th at the 2011 NHK Trophy and then took the bronze medal at the 2011 Rostelecom Cup, their first Grand Prix medal and the first Grand Prix medal for Italy in pair skating.
Recently I talked with Stefania and Ondrej about their skating past, thoughts on the Europeans and plans for the World championships. You can read my interview with them on Icenetwork.com