by Matteo Morelli | Images by Yoriko Suzuki
Germany’s Jennifer Janse Van Rensburg and Benjamin Steffan are having fun with a season that’s giving them a number of new alternatives to point out their potential. We sat down with the 2 time German Nationwide Champions after they competed at their first European Championships in Espoo, Finland, the place they shared what this season means to them and what they’re specializing in in the direction of their future.
Jennifer and Benjamin, thanks for spending a while with us. You competed at your first European Championships, ending in ninth place. What do you are taking away with you from this competitors?
Benjamin Steffan (BS): We really feel superb about this, it has been fairly a journey to get right here for us. That is our first huge championship collectively and reaching that prime ten placement means loads to us. We’re very thrilled.
What does this end result imply for you in relation to your aims?
Jennifer Janse Van Rensburg (JJ): We’re fairly pleased that with the highest ten we received two spots for Germany at subsequent yr’s European Championships. This yr we nonetheless have the upcoming World Championships in Japan, a contest that I believe is most skaters’ dream and that’s additionally coming true for us. We’re fairly excited.
Taking a look at this season, you may have taken half in a number of challenger competitions, you went to the Skate America Grand Prix, and secured a second consecutive title on the German Nationwide Championships.
BS: This season has been an enormous step up for us. We’ve been in a position to safe a second nationwide title which meant loads to us and we’ve had two medals at challenger competitions (silver at each Denis Ten Memorial and Warsaw Cup), which is an enormous deal. It offers us the sensation that what we’re doing is the precise factor and we’re not at our restrict but however we are able to push our skills to get higher and higher.
Your free programme is on “Prelude (Age of Heroes)” by Balázs Havasi, a music that features a choir firstly, adopted by a piano and solo voice within the center, to finish with a crescendo. How did you give you it?
JJ: Our coach (Natalia Karamysheva) heard the music and instantly considered us. She performed it and we immediately beloved it!
BS: That’s how we selected the music, we might actually see us performing to that and as workforce we determined to make use of it.
Though that is the post-Olympic yr, the following Milano-Cortina Olympic Video games are usually not that far. Have you ever received any ambitions in relation to that?
BS: Sure, we’ve sat collectively and talked in regards to the future, and we’ve determined that we wish to go for the Olympic Video games in 2026. That is our huge purpose: we’re taking each step that’s obligatory and that we are able to take in the direction of it.
We appeared at present and the long run, let’s now return to the previous. You will have been skating collectively since 2016, however earlier than getting there you each had completely different experiences. Beginning with you, Jennifer: you had been a single skater for some years till 2014, if you determined to alter.
JJ: I modified very late to ice dance. Fairly lots of people mentioned it was too late, however I took that as a problem. Within the final couple of years we got here to some extent the place we lastly reached what we had been aiming for. It took us some time, I needed to commit loads.
And Benjamin, what’s your background?
BS: I’ve been an ice dancer for fairly a very long time. I by no means did solo skating, nevertheless I did play ice hockey earlier than that! However that was a very long time in the past. I began ice dancing after I was ten years previous, I’ve had a number of companions up till I partnered up with Jenny. I actually recognize each side of each partnership that I’ve had to this point. Every thing that I’ve performed has taken me nearer to the place I’m, and the place we’re, proper now.
How did you discover one another and determined to skate collectively?
JJ: Truly, we’ve recognized one another for fairly a very long time! We’ve been mates outdoors the ice rink too. We’ve discovered one another in our primary military course and sport schooling: our educator knew we had been each on the lookout for companions and prompt we tried out.
When you focus in your aggressive profession, you’re additionally doing a training qualification course.
BS: Our federation has given us the power to take somewhat shortcut, so to say, to that complete schooling course of. Since we’re professional athletes, we’ve to do the identical exams, however so far as the tutorial half goes we don’t must attend each seminar, which supplies us the power to do the course whereas we’re skating. It’s a actually good alternative to do one thing that we are able to use later and get a training licence whereas we’re skating.
Is that this a future aspiration of yours and one thing you positively wish to do after your aggressive profession, or is it one thing you wish to have in case you wish to take that route?
BS: I believe I communicate for the each of us by saying that it’s an choice, however there was nothing determined but. It’s positively a very good factor to have as a result of we each share such an enormous ardour for this sport and ice dancing particularly. I might positively see myself teaching sooner or later, however it should depend upon circumstances.
JJ: It could be good after all, we’re having this expertise and we’d like to share this with the youthful generations.
What are your greatest reminiscences as a workforce?
BS: There may be not one reminiscence particularly, however one factor I actually recognize about our partnership is that it’s not only a work relationship, but in addition a very good friendship. We’ve managed to undergo so many ups and downs collectively and which means loads to me.
JJ: I agree with that! That is essentially the most helpful factor to have, in case you are outdoors of the rink you may also do stuff collectively and never avoiding or preventing one another. I actually recognize our relationship!