By Chelsea Martin
Any professional athlete can prepare for years
through a virtually non-stop, unrelenting
campaign and a determination to follow the
training regimen to the letter—and still find him or
herself coming up short.
This is when the competitor may contemplate the
dreadful question: Why?
The biggest difference between mediocre and
exceptional athletes is not only the separation of
simple dexterity but the persistent, tenacious attitude
and passion for the sport.
Passion is the most compelling emotion, and it
never ceases to provide the strength and drive to
West Chandler native Douglas Razzano, 24,
exemplifies the ideal enthusiastic athlete, one who
has spent his years defining himself as a well-trained
Razzano began his career at age nine, quickly
embracing the sport and committing to private
From the beginning, Razzano concluded that he
had unlimited potential. The possibilities, he realized,
When he started in 1999, Razzano identified the
Coyotes Skating Club of Arizona as the perfect fit for
his figure-skating needs. He’s been there ever since.
Now, Razzano’s pure dedication to skating has
earned him plenty of admiration from his peers,
coaches and family, not to mention a growing
collection of notable awards.
A few of his highlighted career accomplishments:
2003 U.S. Intermediate Pewter medalist and
2005 U.S. Junior Pewter medalist; Sixth place at the
2005 Junior Grand Prix Slovakia, seventh at 2006
Junior Grand Prix Czech Republic, fourth at 2007
Junior Grand Prix, second at 2007 Junior Grand Prix
Great Britain, and fourth at the 2007 Junior Grand
He also noted that his recent senior international
medals have shown him that he’s capable of
competing at a high level.
Of his memories, he holds all of them close,
reminding himself often why he truly loves the sport.
Razzano never gives up, and he remains humble
despite his success, telling anyone who will listen
how his coaches, Doug and Lara Ladret and Grant
Rorvick, along with his mother, west Chandler
resident Arlene Nelson, have proved to be his biggest
Razzano says his mother, who has missed only
one competition in his entire skating career, has
always been the sturdy foundation to the entire
“I am who I am because of her, Razzano said.
“She is my biggest fan, incredibly supportive, and I
couldn’t live without her.”
Through thick and thin, Razzano has worked with
his main coach, Doug, for nearly 13 years.
“Our longevity working together is unheard of
in this sport because people are always in search of
a new coach after a rough season,” Razzano said.
“Everyone is quick to place the blame elsewhere,
and the first person (to get the blame) is always the
He feels grateful to possess such a strong bond
with his coach Doug. “He’s a father figure to me and
I have complete trust in him,” Razzano said. “He has
taught me very well through the years and I know at
the end of the day he has my best interest at heart. I
owe him a lot.”
Razzano appreciates a good challenge, a goal to
obtain. “I enjoy training and competing. I like the
structure of it and pushing myself mentally and
physically,” Razzano explains.
“Some days are easier than others. But I look
forward to the challenge to better myself every single
day. It’s exactly what makes me happy.”
The season has just begun and Razzano is ready
to tackle the unknown. His first competition of this
year, the Glacier Falls Summer Classic, took place
Aug. 1-4, in Anaheim.
Whether it’s on- or off-season, Razzano is always
on the rink. He skates three times a day in 45-minute
intervals. In between his training sessions he teaches
learn-to-skate classes at Alltel Ice Den in Scottsdale.
Because he enjoys teaching others, the job is as
much enjoyable as it helps ease the financial strain
that the sport demands.
The Coyotes club also fundraises year-long
in order to help pay for the members to attend
Razzano says he feels lucky to have such a drive,
a fine talent, and being constantly surrounded
As to the future, he’s undeniably optimistic. His
short-term goal is focusing on training for the Winter
Olympics in February.
“It’s not going to be easy but I truly feel it
is doable,” Razzano said. “I just need to skate
consistently the entire season; that is all I can do.”
Razzano’s passion is evident in the way he
communicates with the ice, sharing an unspoken
alliance to work together peacefully.
“What I live for is the feeling, after you’ve done
an amazing program and the crowd is chanting and
screaming and you’re standing in the middle of the
ice, and you look around and absorb it all. It’s the
best you can get, and you tell yourself, ‘Wow, look at
what I’ve just done,’” Razzano said.
“I get chills just thinking about it.”