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Five rings, triple axel

Kazakh figure skating prodigy to prepare for 2010 Winter Games in Prince George The judges are scoring the Spruce City Skating Club's latest achievement a perfect Ten.

Kazakh figure skating prodigy to prepare for 2010 Winter Games in Prince George

The judges are scoring the Spruce City Skating Club's latest achievement a perfect Ten.

For the next week, the local club will play host to Denis Ten, a 16-year-old rising star in international figure skating who will represent Kazakhstan in the men's singles event later this month in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Ten, an eighth-place finisher at last year's ISU senior world championships, has accepted an invitation from Spruce City coach Alex Sergeev to train in Prince George for the next five days. He will also be on hand to help coach young regional skaters in seminar planned for Saturday at the Elksentre.

Ten wanted to come to Canada in advance of the Olympics to train and allow an easier adjustment to the time change and to the smaller dimensions of an NHL-sized hockey rink. Prince George rinks are close in size to the Olympic venue -- the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. The city is providing Ten his twice daily icetimes this week at Kin Centre, CN Centre and the Elksentre free of charge.

"I got a call from his mom a month ago and she knows I'm in Prince George, near Vancouver, and she asked me about practicing here," Sergeev said.

The Russian-born Sergeev was coaching at club in Washington State when he met Ten, and also spent time with him in Russia. Sergeev has watched Ten's progress on television and is looking forward to seeing him perform his spectacular triples and quads on Prince George ice. Ten will also attend the evening Spruce City senior sessions at the Elksentre.

"I like his style -- he's light and fast and he has really good skating skills," said Sergeev.

"Last year he started to compete in senior events and he's one of the top skaters in the world now. It's really exciting for our skaters at the Spruce City club."

This season Ten placed seventh overall at SkateCanada in Kitchener, was fourth at the NRW Trophy event in Dortmund, Germany, and won gold at the Golden Spin meet in Zagreb. He scored a personal-best 211.43 points at the 2009 world championships.

He just wrapped up a 10th-place finish over the weekend in Seoul, South Korea at the Four Continents championships and was due to arrive in Prince George late Sunday afternoon.

Ten was born in Almaty, Kazakhstan but moved away to Moscow to train with his current coach, Elena Buianova (nee Vordorezova), the 1983 European silver and world bronze medalist. Sergeev will serve as Ten's coach this week while Buianova stays in Russia for the junior national meet.

Ten is the great-grandson of Min Keung-Ho, a Korean general during the time of the Korean Empire. He became the first Kazakhstan skater to win a medal in world competition when he captured gold in the 2008 ISU Junior Grand Prix and finished fourth in the 2009 world junior championships.

The clinic on Saturday, from 8-10:30 a.m. at the Elksentre is open to all skaters in the region. A $20 fee will apply. For more information got to

www.sprucecityskatingpg.com.

tclarke@pgcitizen.ca

Olympic figure skater Denis Ten of Kazakhstan will be in Prince George this week practicing for the Games in Vancouver, which start Feb. 12. The practices are open to the public.

Today

Kin 2, 10:15-11:15 a.m.

CN Centre, 12:45-1:45 p.m.

Tuesday

Kin 2, 10:15-11:15 a.m.

CN Centre, 12:45-1:45 p.m.

Wednesday

Kin 2, 10:15-11:15 a.m.

CN Centre, 12:45-1:45 p.m.

Thursday

Kin 1, 10:15-11:15 a.m.

CN Centre, 12:45-1:45 p.m.

Friday

Elksentre, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Saturday

Denis Ten clinic, Elksentre, 8-10:30 a.m.