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Olympic hope Clara wants rivals in a spin

IRELAND'S very own ice-skating sensation Clara Peters is determined not to slip up in her dream of becoming the country's first Olympic representative.

The 19-year-old from Terenure in Dublin was competing in the ladies' preliminary free skating competition during the European Figure Skating Championships at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield yesterday.

With her eyes set on the 2014 Winter Games, the talented figure skater is an unusual departure from traditional Irish sporting fare. "It would be an honour to be the first person to represent Ireland in figure skating at the Olympic Games," she told the Irish Independent last year.

"I loved watching Mikey from Boyzone on 'Dancing on Ice'. I think the show has done so much to raise the profile of the sport, but it's still not big in Ireland."

Clara left Ireland for more suitable facilities abroad when she was just 13 years old, taking up an offer to train with famed coach Kerry Leitch in Florida.

Irish Independent