Skaters announce end to career

Latvian- and Filipino-American figure skater Larisa Spielberg of Michigan and her partner and fiancé, Craig Joeright, have announced they are ending their skating career.

Spielberg and Joeright have been competing together since 1996, winning several medals. They had set their sights on representing the United States during the 2006 Winter Olympics, according to the Web site for U.S. Figure Skating

“We have chosen to stop skating to focus our attention on our relationship off the ice,” the pair, who became engaged in August, said in a Feb. 4 announcement. “We have closed the door to our skating career and are opening the door to our future.”

Their final performances were scheduled in a trio of Feb. 7 ice shows in Michigan.

The pair’s record includes winning bronze medals in the 1998 and the 2000 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

The 23-year-old Spielberg is a student at Oakland University in Michigan. She is the daughter of Jānis and Neneng Spielbergs of East Lansing, Mich. Larisa attended Latvian school in Lansing, Mich., and participated six years in the summer camp at the Gaŗezers center near Three Rivers, Mich., according to her father.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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