Yoniko "Tina" Washington has been chosen to represent India at the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships in Los Angeles, CA from March 23-29.
Tina is 16 and lives with her family in Duluth, GA. She trains at the Atlanta IceForum in Duluth and is coached by Aren Nielsen, Kaysi Kitsell, and Graham Payne.
She has been a member of the Georgia Figure Skating Club and US Figure Skating since 2002.
In January 2008, Tina won the Silver Medal at the "Fifth All-India National Figure Skating Championships". The event was held in Shimla, India at a natural ice rink near the Himalaya mountains. Ice skaters from 12 Indian states participated, as well as skaters such as Tina who live outside of India, but are of Indian descent.
Medaling at the Championships opened a whole new realm of possibilities for Tina. She was invited to skate at the 2008 Four Continents competition in Goyang, South Korea, but had to decline due to scheduling conflicts.
Tina did compete in two of the 2008 Junior Grand Prix events - Courchevel, France and Sheffield, England. She placed 28th in Courchevel and 24th in Sheffield.
In February, she passed the Senior Freeskate Test, which is the highest test given in the US.
Her mother Indra Washington will be accompanying her to Los Angeles in March. In an email to many of the club members she said: "I am thanking all the people who encouraged her all the way. You have a major part in encouraging her which kept her going and finally achieving the honor of going to Worlds. We couldn't have done it alone without all the well wishes and God's grace."
Link to Tina's ISU page
ISU webpage for Worlds