'Underdog' Ellenton figure skaters make U.S. Olympic team

rdymond@bradenton.comJanuary 12, 2014 

MANATEE — “The kids made it. They are officially on the team!”

An excited Jim Peterson, co-coach of figure skating at the Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex, reported at noon Sunday that Nate Bartholomay and Felicia Zhang, who train in Ellenton, were officially named to the 2014 U.S. Olympic team going to Sochi, Russia.

The pair were quickly ushered into a noon Sunday press conference in Boston as soon as the news broke in order for the world to get to know them, Peterson said.

“They have two hours of media now,” Peterson added.

That's what happens when two young people from the small community of Ellenton, who were underdogs, turn in a silver medal performance at the 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

“Obviously, I am feeling a huge amount of pride,” Peterson said. “I feel my faith has been renewed in the judging system. A lot of hard work paid off for them.”

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