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Olympic Skater Tanith Belbin on Hitting the Ice in Mom's Designs

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U.S. Olympic skater Tanith Belbin might be envied by millions for her effortless turns and spins — but, she tells PEOPLE, if you’re convinced figure skating is all grace and glamour, think again. “To warm up prior to taking the ice, we don’t only stretch. We’re doing push-ups, sit-ups and running,” she says. “In that little warm-up, that’s when I do a lot of my sweating. Then, I have to go directly in my costume and you want to make sure you still look good and don’t stain [it],” Tanith explains of what prompted her to partner with Secret as the new spokesperson for the brand’s Clinical Strength Deodorant. And the skater has extra incentive to to keep her costumes in pristine condition — many of them are designed by her mother, including the look she wore to the last Winter Olympics. “There is something to be said about a costume that you know was made with love,” she says. “[My mom] is so conscientious of my body and my feeling comfortable, and that’s really what I want to feel going into a competition — cool, and confident and comfortable. In my mom’s dresses I feel the most like that.” And while Tanith has yet to decide if mom will be creating all her looks for the 2010 Olympic games in Vancouver this February, one thing is certain: she can’t wait to get back on the ice. “This time around, I’m really trying to concentrate on taking in the entire experience, still focusing on what I need to do on the ice just enjoying the process.” She continues, “It’s so incredible to say you’ve [worked] for something your entire life and then have achieved it. It’s really, really an outstanding experience in my life.” –Kristin Larson, Reporting by Katherine Kluznik Rentmeester