Carolina Kostner – Italy’s Ice Princess

Carolina Kostner

Carolina Kostner was born in Bolzano, Italy on February 8, 1987. Her

mother, Patrizia, was a nationally-ranked figure skater during the 70s

and her father, Erwin, played hockey in the 1984 Olympics and was captain

of the Italian national team. Carolina is the cousin and god child of

one of Isolde Kostner, winner of 3 Olympic gold medals in alpine skiing.

Carolina has two brothers, Martin and Simon. As a youngster, Carolina

lived in the town of Ortisei, a tiny village in the Tyrol region of

northern Italy. At the age of 14, Carolina, who carried the Italian

flag during the 2006 opening ceremonies of the Torino Olympics, moved

to Oberstdorf, Germany so she could attend a boarding school that was

specially geared towards athletes.

Carolina, who goes by the nickname “Caro”, left home because the

rink she trained at in her hometown had been destroyed by a landslide.

Oberstdorf is only four hours away from her family home. While in school,

Carolina studies languages in the morning. She speaks five: Italian,

German, English, French and Ladinic. Ladinic is a dialect that’s linguistically

similar to French and local to the region where she grew up. In the

afternoon, Carolina practices her art, figure skating.

At 5-foot-6, Carolina, who was once the paramour of reigning men’s

world champion skater, Stephane Lambiel of Switzerland, is taller than

many of her competitors. She is known for her speed on the ice and her

ability to land difficult jump combinations. Interestingly enough, the

double axle, which should be easy for an expert jumper like Carolina,

is the one jump that she can’t seem to master.

Carolina is coached in Germany by Michael Huth but heads over to

Alberta, Canada for a few weeks every summer to work on choreography

with Megan Smith and former world champion, Kurt Browning. Carolina

blasted onto the international scene in 2005 when she turned in a bronze

medal finish at the World Championships in Moscow, beating out Michelle

Kwan. Unfortunately, she was unable to medal in the European Championships

that year. She has said that “the public were concentrating on me and

my emotions won over.”

In Torino 2006, Carolina had a great deal of pressure on her. She

was deemed Italy’s great hope for an Olympic skating medal. At the end

of the lady’s short program, Carolina found herself out of the hunt

for the medals – in a disappointing – 11th place after a nasty fall

on a difficult jumping sequence. She did skate a clean program in the

long and moved up to finish in a respectable 9th place.

Who knows? At 19, Carolina is still young enough to bring home Italy’s

first Olympic singles figure skating gold in Vancouver (2010). Regardless,

she’s a delight to watch and, you can rest assured that the whole world

will be doing just that for years to come.

By Deanna Couras Goodson 

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