Ice pair's rink dream on brink of success
JESSICA STRUTT, Sunday Times (Perth)
7th September 2003

PERTH ice-dancers Danika Bourne and Alexandre Pavlov have achieved their dream -- to skate for Australia.

Miss Bourne, 22, of Bibra Lake and her champion Russian-born partner will represent Australia in Vienna next month.

Last year they were crowned WA's best and won a silver medal at the Australian championships.

The Vienna Cup will be the pair's first international competition.

But it has not all been smooth skating for the dedicated ice-dancers.

Just months ago their dream of skating for Australia was shattered when Pavlov, 25, got a letter from the Figure Skating Federation of Russia demanding $US5000 to allow him to compete for his adopted country.

A donation from Bourne's family friends means that the duo's dreams on the rink have become a reality.

In July, the pair received a further boost when they were awarded WA Institute of Sport scholarships.

"We were incredibly thrilled to finally receive some recognition for all the work we were putting in and to be recognised for our potential," Bourne said. Before leaving for Vienna in October they will compete in the WA State Championships. "The 2003 Australian Championships are in December and our goal is to win those so we can be nominated for the 2004 World Championships," Bourne said.

Pavlov, the most highly ranked male ice dancer ever selected to represent Australia, is eagerly counting the days until he can apply for Australian citizenship.

The pair are training three times a day, six days a week.

They were teamed up after their internationally respected coaches Andrei and Maria Filippov studied separate videos of the skaters and realised their styles were complimentary.

Their long-term goal is to compete in the 2006 Winter Olympics.