Fernandez chases blades of glory

Sat Feb 1, 2014 5:34am EST
 
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By Pritha Sarkar

(Reuters) - Should Javier Fernandez discover that his cherished skating boots have gone AWOL when he arrives in Sochi for the Winter Olympics, don't expect him to lose his temper.

In fact, if anything, he will be thanking his lucky stars.

Days before the 22-year-old became the first Spaniard to win a major figure skating title by striking gold at the 2013 European championships, his skates got lost in transit.

Turning up in Zagreb without the blades could have proved to be a major catastrophe for Fernandez as it takes days, if not weeks, for skaters to break into new boots.

Rather than panicking or suffering a meltdown, Fernandez relied on the ice running through his veins to triumph.

"I have to make sure I lose my skates again! I should tell the (person) at the check-out counter to make sure the skates are not put on the same flight," a jovial Fernandez told Reuters in a telephone interview just days before he headed for the Black Sea resort as a double European champion.

"When bad things happen and when everything goes wrong, I get stronger and am more determined to do my best."

Hence it is little surprise the Toronto-based skater is not stashing a back-up pair in a second suitcase as he heads to Sochi shouldering the hopes of almost 50 million Spaniards.   Continued...