Olympic hopeful is given a leg-up

She dreams of mastering the moves used by British figure skating legend Robin Cousins during his dazzling gold medal-winning performance at the 1980 Olympic Games.

And 14-year-old Lana Bagen's chances have received a boost - thanks to some helpful guidance from the Dancing On Ice chief judge himself.

Cousins, in the Capital with the stage musical Grease at the Edinburgh Playhouse, has been holding training sessions with the British under-16 number one at Murrayfield Ice Rink.

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The pair are working on improving Lana's technique when tackling difficult moves such as the crowd-pleasing triple rotation jumps, and perfecting her routine ahead of the British Championship qualifying heats in August.

Cousins, who is a life-long friend of Murrayfield's head coach, Alice Fell, has personally selected the music for Lana's routine and said that he was keen to get involved with coaching young up-and-comers.

He said: "The country desperately needs great talent to push skating back to the forefront," he said. "It's an important year for (Lana] as she's moving up to the next level. She's a very good prospect."

He continued: "I remember being that age, it's intimidating and tough - you're going from a good novice to a bad junior to a good junior (and] eventually on to a senior."

Already this year Lana has competed in figure skating competitions in Barcelona and Luxembourg, and maintains a hectic training schedule to ensure she's at her best. Rising every morning at 4.30am at her family home in Livingston, she splits her time between training sessions at Murrayfield and East Kilbride ice rinks.

Lana spends two hours on the ice every morning before her mother drives her to school at Edinburgh Academy, which she attends on a sports scholarship. Thursday and Friday nights are also spent training at the rink, and when she's not there she also squeezes in training sessions for her other hobbies - hockey and athletics.

Although most people would be daunted by the tightly-packed schedule, Lana remains unfazed. She said: "I'm used to it. Competitions are a good test to see how your training is going to pay off."

While Lana admits to being nervous before meeting Cousins, she said it soon wore off.

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"I'd seen him on Dancing on Ice and in videos on YouTube when he was competing," she said. "It was inspirational to see someone like that. It's a great opportunity to train with him, his choreography is amazing."

Lana's ultimate goal - competing at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia - is never far from her thoughts:

"I'll be 17 then. Hopefully I'll be ready."