Cannarozzo and Olson Find Their Ice Princess Dreams

by Sarah Ramer, Special to U.S. Figure Skating Online
Juliana and Kirsten — ice princesses!

This is the final installment of Sarah Ramer's article on the U.S. Figure Skating stars of "Ice Princess."

Read Part 1 of the Ice Princess series.

Read Part 2 of the Ice Princess series.

(3/11/05) — While on the set of "Ice Princess," Juliana Cannarozzo and Kirsten Olson found that skating for cameras is very different than skating for judges.

“When you have the cameras on you, if you mess something up, if you fall or don't do it right, you just do another take,” Olson said.

Even if they didn't make mistakes, skaters might still have to repeat sections of their programs for close-ups.

Although Olson doesn't think her “Ice Princess” experience has altered her skating at all, Cannarozzo acknowledged that she has improved in presenting her competitive programs.

“When we are out there, we're kind of playing a part sometimes,” Cannarozzo said. “When I skate my real programs now, I think of myself playing a part and acting. It helped a little bit to let myself be more expressive.”

The girls agreed, though, that missing three months of regular training to film the movie did impact their competitive seasons. Olson returned home from Canada on July 21, only a few weeks before her North American Challenge Skate assignment, and she said she didn't skate her best there. Cannarozzo arrived home the same day many of her friends headed to the Liberty Summer Competition in Delaware.

Despite the lost training time, both Cannarozzo's and Olson's seasons culminated in trips to the 2005 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships, and neither girl is sorry she acted in “Ice Princess.”

“It was a really great experience; it was a lot of fun,” Cannarozzo said.

“I thought it was absolutely wonderful,” Olson said. “I had an awesome time up there. I made a lot of friends. Everything was just great. They treated me great.”

"Eventually you will find your way to your dreams," Michelle Kwan said about "Ice Princess." "You'll know when it's real. You'll see: you'll sparkle and the whole world around you will sparkle, too."
On March 13, Cannarozzo and Olson, accompanied by their families, will walk the red carpet at the premiere of “Ice Princess” at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. Neither girl wants this to be the last time she sees her name rolling in the credits. Olson has already tried out for a few other acting roles, and she was one of four actors picked to narrate the DVD. Cannarozzo, meanwhile, is searching for an agent. At least for now, though, both girls are quick to assert that skating comes first.

“If I had to choose right now, I'd definitely, definitely go to skating, because that has been my life and lifelong dream, to become a skater,” Cannarozzo said.

In “Ice Princess,” Casey tells her mother that skating “is about feeling strong and beautiful for once in my life.” For Casey, Trachtenberg said, “Skating is empowering. The only person she can depend on is herself. You're alone on the ice.”

Olson understands that feeling of empowerment.

“When you do something hard and do it well, you feel like you can do absolutely anything you want to do whenever you can,” Olson said. “No matter what you feel outside of skating, once you get on the ice, you can just let that go. I like to be at the rink; I love to be on the ice and just do my programs, express myself in it. I like when people watch me skate, because I feel like I can share it then.”

In a matter of days, Juliana Cannarozzo and Kirsten Olson will share their skating with an audience far larger than any they could encounter in a rink.

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