By Catherine Liedke, Army Contracting Command-Warren, Mich.February 25, 2014
Daniel Eaton, U.S. figure skater and son of Army Contracting Command-Warren's Dennis Eaton, credits his father for getting him interested in skating.
"My dad originally was a figure skater and he really had a passion for the sport and all it had to offer," said Eaton.
Eaton, 21, and his partner Alexandra Aldridge, 19, were one of only eighteen ice dance teams in the country to qualify for the 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championship held in Boston, January 10th. The pair finished in fifth place making them second alternates for the U.S. Olympic Team to compete at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Eaton said he and Aldridge are proud of their accomplishments and already look forward to their chance for a spot on the next Olympic Team.
"We plan to compete for years to come," Eaton said." It's only a bright and positive future ahead. We are very excited for our future and to one day be Olympic contenders.
"It was amazing to see myself on NBC and watch my program performed on national television. It's quite rewarding knowing that you've worked your entire life for this moment and you're on your way to the ultimate goal."
Eaton said he and Aldridge are dedicated to their goal, training at the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., four-hours-a-day, five-days-a-week. In addition to ice time, they work out at the gym three days a week as well as take weekly stretch and ballet classes.
"A lot of off-ice work goes into figure skating. We work on lifts off-ice and we train our programs off-ice every day," he said.
Eaton said he carries a special good luck charm wherever he goes.
"I have a good-luck coin in my skate bag that I got from Col. Tim McKernan back in 2009. Col. McKernan was in Iraq and I used to practice with his son and daughter who were also ice dancers. Col. McKernan and his troops wished all the skaters at U.S. Nationals good luck from Iraq on the arena's big screen TV. It was pretty cool," he said.
Eaton and Alexandra qualified to compete in the Four Continents Championships held in Taipei, Taiwan, Jan. 20-26, where they finished third.
"It is very exciting," said Dennis Eaton. "Never in our wildest dreams did I think it would get this far."
After the 4CC, the pair took a week off and then returned to their grueling practice schedule to begin training for next season.