Details about Gary Shortland's Eligible (Amateur) Career
Gary Shortland teaches figure skating in northern Virginia. He has been teaching full time since May, 2001, coaching skaters of all ages and levels from beginners to experienced competitors. His focus is mainly on ice dance, moves in the field, and choreography.
Gary started skating at age 9 and went on to train with skaters from all over the world at the Richmond Ice Rink, a world-famous place on the Thames River in the United Kingdom. By the following year, he began ice dancing and paired with his first partner, Lucy Platt. Gary and Lucy continued training at the Sough Ice Arena, working with such dignitaries as Jimmy Young and Betty Callaway. Their initial coach, Daphne Cronhelm, began involving them in competition by 1991. They placed first in their first NISA British National Primary Dance Championships that same year.
Gary and Lucy moved on to the Junior British National Championships that November, and one year later, they competed in their first international competition in Chemintz, Germany. That same season, they competed in the Junior British National Championships, where they placed fourth. They closed the 1992-93 season at the Junior Youth European Olympics in Aosta, Italy. Afterwards, Gary and Lucy trained in Oberstdorf, Germany at a dance seminar for both junior and senior competitors from all over the world, where they had exposure to a wide variety of famous coaches.
Due to an injury, Lucy Platt was unable to continue, and Gary found his second partner, Charlotte Clements, in September of 1993. Within three months, they competed in the British National Championships and placed second, missing the "number one" spot by a vote of only one judge. The following year, they competed in their first international competition in Rome, Italy and went on to the World Junior Championships in Budapest, Hungary, their first entrée into the major ISU championships. In December of 1994, Gary and Charlotte won their first Junior National Championships.
After a year apart, Gary and Charlotte competed for the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany and placed first in the senior British National Dance Championships 1997-1998. As the British champions, they had an opportunity to compete at the ISU European Championships in Milan, Italy the following January. They competed again in March at the ISU World Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota and then flew to France to compete for the Morrzine Cup, where they ended the season successfully, placing fourth.
At the start of the next season, Gary and Charlotte competed in Canada and went on to Sapporo, Japan, where they competed for the NHK trophy, representing Britain and nearly beating the U.S. team. Following that event, they returned to the U.K. and successfully defended their title as British Champions.
In 1999, the pair went to Prague in the Czech Republic for the European Championships, in which they placed an astonishing 14th place, improving 10 places from their performance during the previous year. From there, they competed in Helsinki, Finland. The following summer, they worked with the renowned Bolshoi Ballet choreographer, Shanti Rushpaul. After competing in Finland again, they defended their title as British champions for the third consecutive year and nearly won, placing second. In the summer of 2000, Gary and Charlotte trained for six weeks with the Russian Olympic coach Natalia Linichuk, along with a few other world class competitors.
After August 2000, Gary and Charlotte ended their partnership. Charlotte has continued to skate competitively, remaining in the U.K. Gary chose to shift his focus from competition to coaching, giving new, up-and-coming skaters the benefit of his knowledge and world-wide experience.
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