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Olivia Oliver and Peter Paleev exhibit graceful ease as they glide across the ice arm in arm.
The duo has only danced together for eight months, but they have already qualified for the World Junior Championships.
“We train five days a week about 3 1/2 hours on the ice and two hours off the ice,” says Peter.
The 20-year-old moved from Moscow to Canada, specifically to dance with Olivia who moved from Poland as a child.
“My parents decided to bring me to Canada because there are a lot more opportunities here,” she says.
The two now live and train together in Barrie at the Mariposa School of Skating, an international training centre known around the world for producing big names in skating, like Jeff Buttle, Elvis Stojko and Brian Orser.
Olivia and Peter’s coach, Mitchell Islam, a former Olympic ice dancer himself, says they’ve been working tremendously hard.
“I think that showed last week when we went to Germany to try and earn the qualifying scores for the Junior World Championships.”
The European skaters will represent the Polish National Team.
Olivia, 16, attends Innisdale Secondary in Barrie but manages to lace up her skates and dedicate 25 hours a week to the ice.
Off the ice, her hard work continues. She travels to Poland each year with a Make-A-Wish style charity. To date, she has raised $30,000.
“I am able to make my dreams come true, and I want their dreams to come true as well.”
The duo will hit the World Junior stage in Croatia from March 4 to 10.
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