Briton and Australian to compete for Russian figure skating team

Zahorski and Guerreiro perform during the ice dancing free skating event as part of the 2015 Russian Figure Skating Championships

Zahorski and Guerreiro perform during the ice dancing free skating event as part of the 2015 Russian Figure Skating Championships

Mikhail Japaridze/TASS
Tiffany Zahorski and Jonathan Guerreiro will hit the ice in late October

The Russian national figure skating team is to be represented in the dance duet category by an unusual pair this season – Tiffany Zahorski and Jonathan Guerreiro.

Zahorski, a Briton who had recently competed for France, received her permit to compete for Russia on Oct. 17, the pair's coach Alexander Zhulin told the R-Sport news agency.

The British skater has Russian roots, so the decision to join the Russian team was easy for her.

"My grandfather is Russian," she said in an interview with the Team Russia 2014 website. “He was born in Russia and moved to London during World War II, served in the Royal Air Force of Great Britain, and married my grandmother, an Irish woman. I always wanted to compete for Russia! And when I got the opportunity to skate with a Russian partner, I realized – this is my chance!"

Zahorski's partner, 24-year-old Jonathan Guerreiro, has a no less interesting story. The son of Soviet ice dancer Svetlana Lyapina and an ice show manager from Portugal, Guerreiro was born in Sydney. As a teenager, he moved to Moscow to devote more time to figure skating.

Zahorski and Guerreiro have been training together since April 2014. According to her, she has already grown accustomed to life in Russia.

"I can easily adapt to new conditions. However, at first it was difficult. I did not speak the language, knew only Jonathan and his family – his family is very welcoming, they helped me a lot at first, for which a huge thank you to them," she said.

The duo’s debut performance is due to take place at the Yekaterinburg leg of the Cup of Russia, to be held in the Urals city on Oct. 27-31.

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