They are incredible figure skaters from the UK who are dedicated to figure skating, because there they have found love, and because dancing is amazing. They are happy just like that, and reading their story, I also became happier. In addition, they are significant figures of adult figure skating and our today’s heroes — David and Patricia Arnold.
How many years have you been skating together?
9 years as a competitive couple
What was the first: wedding / skating together?
I met Pat at Peterborough ice rink 30 years ago when I changed from free skating to ice dance after 15 years off the ice and Pat became my dance coach.
What is your favorite pattern?
We don’t really have a favorite but love the waltzes.
What gives you more pleasure — the training process / competition?
Pat prefers the training but I like to be competitive but still enjoy the training and pushing ourselves.
Do you train with / without a coach?
No we did at first but realized we needed eyes and knowledge of others to improve.
Who in your pair is the leader?
Neither of us we work as a team
What do you like to perform more: pattern / free program?
Pattern is our favorite but are getting to like the rhythm dance more every year.
What is your pair stronger: technical elements / performance?
Technically we were stronger but we feel our performance and elements get better every year.
Relations not only on ice: help / hinder you for skating?
We both feel it helps us any problems on the ice stay there and it lets us skate as a couple.
Tell about yourself. How did you meet and who offered to create a dance duet?
We first met at Peterborough ice rink in the 80s when the rink opened there I had not skated for 15 years. I decided to try ice dance and approached Pat for lessons. Pat took me on as a pupil and coached me to gold level. We taught alongside each other for a long time but never skated together. In between our relationship blossomed and we became a couple in real life. We both walked away from coaching for around 6 years and owned a small shop, then one Christmas we decided to go for a skate for fun we had a great time and I suggested we do the adult British championship in England for fun. The rest is history.
You are a pair not only on the ice. What are the positive aspects and, perhaps, problematic aspects of this?
We actually have no problem with this as any problems stay on the ice and in fact we never argue on the ice, luckily we are able to discuss things.
Tell about the team that helps you prepare for the competition.
We are extremely lucky to be able to train in Oberstdorf 3-4 times a year our coach for the last 6 years is Marie Therese Kreiselmeyer who is the most amazing person and coach, she has taken us from being adult skaters to competitive skaters and has become a very good friend and second mum to us both. We are also very lucky to train alongside the German elite ice dancers who help us and give us so much support as well. We are very lucky to have all the help and support from a lot of people including choreographers etc.
How are duties divided in your pair?
We all work as a team we search music and when we have music we like we agree it with our coach same as costumes, we are very fortunate to be in a position where we all work together.
What difficulties did your pair have to overcome?
Finding ice time in England is difficult and without a coach here its hard to see what you are doing and we fall back into old habits, Lack of other dance couples to train with in England as well to keep motivation sometimes and of course injuries.
What motivates you? Do you have a goal that you would like to achieve?
We just love what we do and like to perform for the audience who again have given us so much support over the years, plus we wish to keep our skating to the same level or better not so easy as one gets older, plus it keeps us fit and strong in the mind. We have achieved more than we ever thought possible so very happy in what we have done.
What competitions do you most like to participate in and why?
We like all of them as we have been able to see different countries while doing what we love, Oberstdorf ranks highly as in some ways its our second home with all the world class skaters that we have met and got know as friends over the years.
Tell about the most memorable performance in your career.
They all are special to us the first time we won in Oberstdorf was amazing, and since then all performances have there own special meaning to us.
You are the repeated champions of Oberstdorf. What does this start mean to you?
Pressure to keep our level as good or better than the previous year.
Who is your support group?
Our Coach Marie Therese Kreiselmeyer and many others who have helped us over the years to many to mention but from the bottom of our hearts we are so grateful to all .And of course the audience and friends that give us so much support at competitions.
Do you have other joint hobbies besides figure skating?
No David plays golf and we have 2 dogs that are our babies.
Patricia and David, thank you for your hearty story. We wish you to be successful in ice dancing, to support each other and adore figure skating.