Fedor out of nationals

ROB BRODIE -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:19 AM ET

Seven years ago, he was king of the rink at the Civic Centre.

But when the Canadian figure skating championships return to his home town next week, Ottawa's Fedor Andreev won't be anywhere in sight.

"It's going to be kind of weird ... especially since it's in Ottawa," Andreev, 23, said yesterday from his home in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. "It's the first nationals I've missed in a long time."

The first one since 1997, to be exact. After finishing fourth among novice men in his nationals debut the year before -- at the Civic Centre, oddly enough -- injuries sidelined him in '97, but he's been a fixture at the event ever since.

It was never better than in 1999. He won the Canadian junior men's crown in Ottawa with a powerful performance that stamped him as a future contender for even bigger things.

"That was a good time," he said of that year. "It was definitely a highlight for me."

But it took until 2003 for him to make it to the senior men's podium at Canadians. He won a bronze medal that year and was fourth a year later.

However, a sixth-place finish at the 2005 Canadians bumped him off the national team. Andreev and coach Richard Callaghan decided a break was needed to re-evaluate his future.

'A LOT OF OPPORTUNITIES'

"I want to figure out if I want to continue skating," he said. "There are a lot of opportunities out there for things other than skating, but I need time to figure things out."

One of his other passions -- cars -- has moved front and centre. Andreev obtained his Sports Car Club of America national licence last year and plans a full assault on the SCCA's Formula D circuit in 2006.

Andreev has also enrolled in an acting school in Detroit.

"I'm not saying I want to be an actor, I just want to try it out," said Andreev, whose girlfriend is U.S. ice dance champ Tanith Belbin. Ironically, his first class is Tuesday -- the day the men's event begins at the Civic Centre.

"I'm definitely going to miss being out there, in front of my home crowd," he said.


Videos

Photos