Kid keeps good company

ANGELA MACISAAC -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:33 AM ET

There's something about this kid.

Every time Shawn Sawyer steps off the ice at the Saddledome, he's greeted by someone famous.

After his qualifying round Tuesday, six-time national champion Toller Cranston.

Yesterday, Kurt Browning, who will be inducted into the World Skating Hall of Fame tomorrow.

Sawyer, a 21-year-old from Edmundston, N.B., isn't exactly enjoying his first world championships after a solid 12th-place result at last month's Winter Olympics in Turin.

But he sure is well-liked.

"He's a good guy to be on the bus with," said Browning, a four-time world champion and the first man to land a quad in competition.

"He's a hard worker, a team player. What's not to like? He's a good kid."

When Sawyer was nine, he appeared in a skate exhibition and played the role of Cranston as a young skater.

"Toller and him are of the same ilk," said Browning. "It's freaky. I was at (that) show and he was the little boy. Even then it was like two peas in a pod. I didn't see him for a long time and then I saw him on (a Champions On Ice) Tour and I (thought), 'It's Toller. It's freakin' Toller. It's amazing.' "

Sawyer qualified for tomorrow's free skate but scored well below his personal-best 67.20 at the Olympics. He earned 53.23, stumbling in between his triple flip-triple toe-loop combination, two-footing his triple Axel and falling on his triple loop.

He's feeling a bit shaky now but not overwhelmed, said his coach Annie Barabe.

"Like I told him, to build confidence takes months but to destroy it takes one competition," she said.

Sawyer added it's been frustrating, because he never misses the loop.

"To come to world championships and do a bad program in qualifying then a bad short the day after, I'm trying to understand why," he said.


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