Katie in the news!

News Article: Mountain View Voice
MountainView, California
News - Friday, July 25, 2008

Local skater's Olympic dreams
Katie Dano hopes to compete in Vancouver

by Kelsey Mesher

While sports fans gear up for this summer's Olympic Games in Beijing, Mountain View resident Katie Dano already has her heart set on 2010.

Dano, a rising junior at Mountain View High School, recently took first place at the Philippine National Championship in figure skating — a win she hopes will open the door to an Olympic bid.

Dano's career began when she was just 5 years old.

"My mom wanted to put me in something that would take my energy up," she said. She remembers watching the older skaters in awe as they whirled around the rink. "I was falling all over the place but I loved it."

Nowadays, at her home rink in Redwood City, all eyes are on Dano. She has come a long way since her first attempts at skating — a two-time regional champion, she has competed twice at Junior Nationals in addition to her recent win abroad.

On the ice, she looks much older than her 16 years. She lifts her arms gracefully while gliding across the rink, extending a leg into the air and elongating her tiny five-foot frame. Suddenly she is spinning rapidly, grabbing a foot and pulling it up and over her head — a Bielman spin, her favorite trick.

Dano is just getting warmed up after returning from the Philippines.

"I had no expectations," she said of her first trip to the national competition there. After her short program she was .6 points behind the leader. She secured the win with her long program, finishing 12 points ahead of the competition.

Her giddiness is still palpable: "I guess it was good, because I won!"

For the next two years, Dano will compete as a member of the Philippine national team — she has the opportunity to compete for the Philippines because her father is Filipino, and she has dual citizenship. She believes her chances of making it to Vancouver in 2010 are better if she competes outside the U.S.

"In America there are a lot of skaters," she explained. "I thought, maybe I can compete for the Philippines."

The road to the Olympics will be long and include grand prix events and national competitions. If she, and the Philippine team in general, does well, Dano could possibly receive an invitation to the Olympics.

"She's got some work to do," said Julie Lowndes, her coach of eight years. "She needs to get a couple triple jumps. She needs to bring her skating up to more of a championship level."

But Lowndes, who has been coaching skaters for 26 years, said that Katie may be her first to try for an Olympic run.

"She's definitely one of my better skaters," she said. "I've had [skaters achieve] national placement, but I've never had an Olympic competitor. It would be really fun to share that with her."

Lowndes said one of the factors will be getting enough training time in. During the summer months Dano practices three to four hours per day in Redwood City. When school starts, she will wake up at 4:30 a.m. to hit the ice before class. And then there's off-ice training: Pilates, cardio, weights.

Dano struggles to keep a balance between skating and school, but says her teachers are mostly supportive. Her coaches, on the other hand, are still having trouble letting her out of practice on time.

"I got so many tardies this year I almost had to go to Saturday school," she said.

For Dano, the balancing act is well worth the effort. Through skating she has become a seasoned traveler, competing in Europe three times. She recently made a fourth trip to celebrate her 16th birthday with her best friend, Eva, a skater from Belgium who competes for the Netherlands.

"I have the best experiences friends-wise," she said. "I have friends all over the world. We all have the same love for skating."

Friendly competition with skaters she's met both home and abroad keeps Dano keen on fine tuning her skating — that, and the possibility of a trip to Vancouver.

E-mail Kelsey Mesher at kmesher@mv-voice.com

News Article: The Sun:Sports
Sunnyvale, California
November of 2005

Katie Dano goes for the gold
By Mike Barnhart

Sunnyvale teenager Katie Dano is looking for gold in the Rocky Mountains this week. That's gold as in gold medal.

Looking to skate with the confidence, power and control she displayed while winning a regional championship in October, the 13-year-old athlete is in Westminster, Colo., for the U.S. Junior Figure Skating Championships. The event, which provides national championship competition for juvenile and intermediate skaters in free skate, pairs and dance, runs through Dec. 3.

Dano's spins, jumps and flips will be compared with those of 41 other skaters who are seeking a national title in the Intermediate Ladies division. Most of the challengers qualified by placing among the top four in one of nine regional competitions held throughout the nation.

As she did last fall while competing in the lower Juvenile Ladies bracket, Dano captured first place at the Central Pacific Regional Championships Oct. 19-22 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Representing University Ice Skating Club of San Jose, Dano topped a field of 34 at the regional by winning the freeskate (long program) and taking second in the short program.

News Article: Laurel Springs School
Students in the News

Katie Dano Wows the Judges at Regionals!

Katie Dano is enrolled in 8th grade english @ Laurel Springs. She competed last week @ the USFSA Central Pacific Regional Figure Skating Championship. She took 1st place. This means she will be competing at the USFSA Junior Nationals Competition which will be held in Jamestown, New York the first week of December.

News Article: The Sun,Sports page
Sunnyvale, California
November 17, 2004

Dano Wins Berth in Skating Nationals

By Mike Barnhart

It was after a sensational showing at the "Reflections On Ice" competition in April of 2000 that young Katie Dano made a personal reflection off the ice. She decided it was time to get serious about figure skating.

After all, since joining the city of Sunnyvale learn-to-skate program at Cupertino's Ice Chalet as a 5-year-old, Dano had won 11 recreational competitions between 1998 and 2000, and she placed second or third in four others. And, with the help of coach Danielle Schultz, she had just captured first place in four categories at "Reflections On Ice."

So, a decision was made. The Sunnyvale youngster joined the University Ice Skating Club of San Jose with Julie Lowndes and former U.S. Olympian Charlie Tickner as her coaches. The Ice Oasis in Redwood City became her home rink.

A few years later, at age 12, Dano is a U.S. Figure Skating Association juvenile regional winner, gearing up for junior nationals next month in Jamestown, N.Y. She will compete against 36 other girls at the national event Dec. 1­4.

She qualified for the U.S. Junior Figure Skating Championships by beating out 11 other skaters at the Central Pacific Regional championships held Nov.5-7 in San Jose. Dano was voted first place on the scorecards of six of the seven judges.

Dano's long-term skating goals are the highest--to earn national and world championships and compete in the Olympics. Certainly, some past U.S. Olympians have started their figure skating careers in Bay Area youth programs, including Kristi Yamaguchi, Debi Thomas, Rudy Galindo and Sunnyvale native Brian Boitano.

Only time will tell if Dano will join that illustrious group. For now she will concentrate on December in New York.