CEDAR RAPIDS — Timothy LeDuc and Ashley Cain, it seems, are inseparable
It’s hard to mention one without naming the other.
They have an official website together now, one of the spoils of being the reigning U.S. pairs figure skating champions. They practice together, of course, and, this week, are at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena conducting a camp. Together.
Cain said “yes,” it feels like they are always together. But she’s not complaining.
“We love spending time together,” she said Thursday during a break in their camp schedule. “We’re a cohesive unit. We’re a team.”
That’s an important ingredient when you are — and want to continue to be — the top pairs team in the United States.
“Synergy is really important,” LeDuc said. “That’s not necessarily something you can buy. That’s something that came to us really quick and that’s why we’ve progressed so well in just three years.”
LeDuc, 29, grew up in Cedar Rapids and learned to skate at the CRIA. He is excited come home and, he hopes, “pave the way for the next generation.”
“This is my home rink,” he said. “This is where everything started. This is where I trained until I was 19.
“It never really wears off, the magic of coming back in here. This is where I took my first steps on the ice. This is where I really fell in love with the sport and it’s literally taken me all over the world.”
Cain, 23, grew up in the Dallas area and hasn’t seen much of Cedar Rapids yet, but was impressed with the CRIA.
“The one thing that always stays consistent no matter where we go is finding an ice surface,” she said, “Any rink that we go to always feels like home.”
Life hasn’t changed much since winning the national title and placing ninth in the world championships. Cain, however, got married earlier this month and LeDuc was a bridesman.
“He’s amazing. Honestly,” she said. “We have such an open line of communication that it’s made it so easy to be ourselves and stay true to what we call our brand.
“He knows everything about me. I think that’s what made us stronger as competitors and has allowed us to progress even faster as a team.”
The two are on a short break from competition and practicing, but soon will be getting ready for the 2019-20 season. Another national title is one of many goals,
“When we got (the title), it was like a check mark,” Cain said. “It was like how can we keep moving forward from here? Now that we have it, we feel hungrier for more ... how can we progress and still win the title?”
The ultimate goal, of course, is to keep on this track until the 2022 Winter Olympics.
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“We want to push ourselves and evolve and grow and change and be able to still win the title while pushing ourselves to a new level,” LeDuc said.
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