Figure Skating
Skater Bios
 Wednesday, January 10
Silverstein and Pekarek announce end to successful career
 ABC Sports Online news services

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA) announced today that the 2000 U.S. silver medal winning ice dance team of Jamie Silverstein & Justin Pekarek have officially withdrawn from the 2001 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Boston, Mass., Jan. 14-21, 2001, and are ending their five-year career together.

Silverstein, 17, and Pekarek, 19, have competed together since the 1995-96 season, achieving great success throughout their career, highlighted by the 1999-2000 season in which they captured the U.S. Junior and World Junior titles. Last season, Silverstein and Pekarek advanced to the senior level, claiming the U.S. silver medal and represented the U.S. at the 2000 World Championships, placing 12th.

Coached by Igor Shpilband and Liz Coates at the Detroit Skating Club, Silverstein and Pekarek were an immediate success, claiming the 1996 U.S. Novice title in their first year competing together. In total, the duo represented the U.S. at 13 international competitions since 1997, capturing four gold medals and a total of eight medals.

Statement from Justin Pekarek: "During the past year and especially the last five months, Jamie and I have faced many personal and family issues that affected our partnership. As a result, it has become clear to me that I need a break from competitive ice dancing to regain the love I have for the sport. As such, I will not compete this skating year, and effective immediately, Jamie and I have dissolved our partnership.

I do not make this decision lightly as Jamie and I have been partners for five years and have achieved many successes. I will work closely with my coaches and family in the coming months regarding a decision on the resumption of competitive skating and partner search. I do not have a timetable for that decision.

I want to offer my thanks and appreciation to my family, coaches, and friends who have been very supportive of Jamie and I during this difficult time. I appreciate it greatly and sincerely hope I'll be able to compete in the future to enhance U.S. figure skating programs."

The U.S. Figure Skating Association is the national governing body for the sport of figure skating in the United States and has a membership of more than 145,000 athletes and sponsors.

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