Oz Skater Magazine

Friends ready for Winter Olympic adventure

OLYMPICS: Figure skaters Greg Merriman and Danielle O'Brien have made up for the disappointment of missing out on the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver by being the first athletes named in the Australian team for next year's Games in the Russian city of Sochi.

The pair (pictured), friends since they were kids and dance partners since 1998, were forced to withdraw from the final qualification event before the Vancouver Games after Merriman developed an infection of the sac surrounding his heart.

They will become just the second Australians to compete in the figure skating at a winter Olympics, after Monica Macdonald and Rodney Clarke at the 1988 Calgary Games. Co-incidentally, the third Aussie team member named yesterday for Sochi was individual figure skater Brendan Kerry, Macdonald's son. Australia expects to send its biggest team ever - between 55 and 60 athletes - to the Games.

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