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 Andrea  Balzani and Mom Valeria
Marina Zueva coaches Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir at the Arctic Edge Skating Club in Canton, MI
Photo: Markham Street Films

They train like prizefighters and suffer like triathletes. They are constantly pushing themselves to the limits of mental and physical endurance. They face disaster every time they lace up and they somehow make it all look so easy. But what does it really take to win? Ice, Sweat and Tears is an insider's look, from the science of landing a "quad" to the art of choosing the right coach or partner. Filmed over the course of the 2011-2012 season, the documentaryfollows an elite group of skaters from backstage jitters to on ice triumph – and heartbreak.

For some the hope of becoming a skating legend doesn't involve winning the Stanley Cup. These youngsters dream of becoming figure skating champions. It is a journey that is in many ways more challenging and physically demanding. Today's top figure skaters are constantly pushing each other to new levels, performing some of the most daring programs the world has ever seen.

Ice, Sweat & Tears goes behind-the-scenes with Olympic, World and Canadian Ice Dance Champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. At competitions and at their home rink in Canton, Michigan, viewers will see how they mitigate the pressure cooker of sharing the same rink and the same coach (Marina Zueva) with their greatest rivals – the American champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

 Andrea  Balzani and Mom Valeria
Patrick Chan and former coach Christy Krall relax backstage, playing cards at the 2012 Canadian International Figure Skating Championship, Moncton, NB
Photo: Markham Street Films

Ice, Sweat & Tears follows two-time World Champion Patrick Chan as he smashes records and builds a program with new choreographer (former World and Canadian Champion) Jeffrey Buttle. Unlike pairs skaters, Patrick must handle the pressure of being the best without the support of a partner.

Canadian pairs medalists Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers are taking an alternative route to the podium. In Virden, Manitoba, these hometown heroes train without nearby competitors or other distractions, save for the local supporters. But before they can reach the World Championships they must first place in the top two at the Canadian Nationals. Then, at the last minute, Paige suffers a concussion and it's not sure if they will even be able to compete.

Ice, Sweat and Tears also features interviews with skating luminaries like Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko, and legendary coaches and choreographers Lori Nichol, Marina Zueva and Christy Krall.

Through these voices, Ice, Sweat and Tears brings viewers up close and personal with the best in the sport to show how today's athletes are pushing skating to new heights. "How high do skaters jump?" "How are they marked?" "And how do they train for dangerous lifts and throws?" These are some of the questions Ice, Sweat and Tears answers for both super fans and newbies to the sport.

Figure skating: It takes so much more than raw talent. It takes Ice, Sweat and Tears.

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