TODAY   |  January 08, 2010

High school senior’s Olympic dreams

Jan. 8: Olympic hopeful Rachael Flatt speaks with TODAY’s Matt Lauer about the upcoming U.S. Figure Skating Championships and her hopes of making the national team.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> nbc.

>>> this morning on "today's countdown to vancouver," we're just 35 days away from the opening ceremony for the winter olympics . more importantly, though, for rachel flat flat, the young lady standing next to me, we're only a week away from the u.s. national figure skating championships . that competition determines who will skate on the olympic team. rachel joins us right now. how are you? good morning.

>> good morning. how are you?

>> i'm great, but you are 17 and you are trying to make your very first olympic team. what would that mean to you?

>> it would mean everything, you know. it's an incredibly exciting year for me. you know, i'm certainly looking forward to nationals and hopefully the olympics, but you know, i have to train hard and make sure i do my job.

>> when you are this close to a major competition like the national championships , what's going through your mind? how do you prepare?

>> you know, i just do what i always do, make sure i stay focused on what i've trained and make sure that i, you know, i have fun while i'm doing it, you know. what more can you ask for at this point?

>> you have been having fun doing this since you were 4, right?

>> yep.

>> 4 years old, balancing skating and school. it's a tough juggling act, isn't it?

>> absolutely. you know, time management is definitely a crucial skill at this point. but you know, i'm learning to balance it. it's been an incredible year so far, but i'm sure it will get better.

>> i know you've been working a little with dorothy hamill recently. she's someone i actually went to the early part of high school with before she took off for the olympic team. so, she can be a great mentor, i would imagine.

>> absolutely. she has so many life experiences and she's had wonderful tidbits of advice for me over the years. so, it's been fabulous working with her.

>> well, good luck next week, but you're going to perform for us right now.

>> yep.

>> okay. you can head to the center of the ice and i'll say, ladies and gentlemen , rachael flatt . * * tell me what you see,