Saturday, July 7, 2012

De la Mora and Wilson eye the international stage

Brianna de la Mora and Taylor Wilson have competed together for the last three years and already have a national title under their belt, winning the 2010 Intermediate Pairs crown only 6 months into their partnership.  They finished 6th as novices in 2011 and most recently placed 8th as juniors in San Jose.  De la Mora turned 13 while in San Jose and is now old enough to compete internationally at the junior level.  They are listed in U.S. Figure Skating's International Selection Pool and are eligible to receive international assignments.  They recently attended the U.S. Pairs Camp and will make their season debut at Liberty Summer Competition later this month.  The team represents the Texas Gulf Coast Figure Skating Club and train in Texas with Elena and Val Prudsky.  De la Mora is an 8th grader while Wilson is entering his junior year at the University of Houston.  I had the chance to talk to them about their success so far, their lives outside skating and their goals for this season.    

Tell me about yourselves outside of skating.
Wilson:  Outside of skating I really like hanging out with friends from skating and from school.  Going to the beach a couple of times during the summer is fun.  I also like watching all of the movies that come out during the summer. I enjoy swimming and grilling in my back yard with friends.

De La Mora: Outside of skating I enjoy hanging out with friends and family. I also enjoy going to the beach and swimming in my back yard.

You just got back from the National Pairs Camp. How was that experience?
Pairs camp was a good experience.  We got some great feedback and information from the judges that were there.  It was fun to see friends there too.  It helped us get prepared for the upcoming season.

Were you surprised that you won the intermediate title in 2010 after only 6 months of training together? Yes and no.  At sectionals when we posted a score of 62.56 we realized that winning the national title was possible because no one had ever scored that high.  Leading up to Junior Nationals we were working very hard and felt prepared to win.  Even though we knew it was definitely possible to win Junior Nationals, it was still a bit of a surprise for us.

Brianna, what did it feel like to stand atop a nationals podium when you were only 10 years old?
It felt good to see that even though I was young, I could still compete against older teams.

How do you feel the 8 year age gap impacts your partnership? As you've gotten older, how has your partnership changed? The age gap has its positives and negatives.  As we have grown together we can really talk about different things and communication is easier than when we were younger.  Brianna has no brothers and I have no sisters, so our relationship can be compared to having a brother or sister. 

Taylor, you chose to attend the University of Houston so you could continue training with Brianna. Was that a difficult decision? How do you balance the college experience with your skating? The decision was not too hard, as U of H is a great school.  For a while I wanted to move and go out of state for school, but that was before I realized I had a future in pair skating.  I definitely made the right decision.  Balancing college with skating can be challenging at times.  I schedule all of my classes in the mornings and then go to the rink for the rest of the day.  As I am moving up in school, scheduling is getting a little more difficult and it is hard to find all the classes I need and fit them into a morning schedule.

What skaters do you look up to and what specifically about them do you hope to emulate in your skating? We look up to Volosozhar and Trankov and their amazing pair elements!  We also watch videos of  Gordeeva and Grinkov.  Our coach always uses them as examples of how our skating should look.  We both like to watch singles skating as well.

For the past three seasons you've tackled a new level each season. How do you think this season will be different since you're staying at the junior level?  We feel like this season will be more comfortable for us than the last two.  Staying at the junior level will take some of the pressure off this season, because we already have that year of experience behind us. 

Are you changing up your programs for this season? 
We have the same music for both programs, but the programs themselves are different.  There are different elements and different transitions.  We like both programs and we seem to get good feedback from the audience when we compete.  We want to get a higher second mark score [program components] in both programs this season so that is something we are focusing on in training.

Are there any new elements you're planning to add this season?
We are planning to do new elements in both programs but everyone will have to wait and see our programs for this season when we compete at Liberty and Indy. =)

You've already tackled the throw triple lutz. Do you think that gives you an edge over the other junior teams? Yes, we think so because this throw is not common to see from junior teams, and it is worth a good amount of points. 

Now that Brianna is old enough to compete internationally and you've been selected for the International Selection Pool what international competitions are you hoping to attend? What does it mean to you to be able to represent the United States?
We hope to be selected for any JGP this season.  It is definitely our goal this season to compete internationally and make it to the JGP Final.  Competing for the US would mean so much to us.  It would be very cool to represent Team USA! 

What are your goals for this season? Long-term?
This season we want to compete internationally and qualify for the JGP Final.  Long-term our goal is to make it to the Olympics.

What do you want people to know about you as skaters?
Sometimes we are too much of perfectionists, but we work very hard and enjoy skating together. 


  1. Very promising team to watch this season!! I hope they get invited to the JGP. :)

  2. I saw them in NY recently. Was very impressed by their poise and maturity, especially Brianna who is such a young girl. She skates with enormous grace and their skill comes trhrough very difficult routines.