Japanese figure skater Akiko Suzuki revealed her delight Friday at receiving a letter from Academy Award-winning actor George Chakiris praising her on her free skate to West Side Story.
Chakiris won the Best Supporting Actor award for his role of Bernardo in the 1961 movie version of West Side Story.
And Suzuki will be portraying Maria in her free skate on February 25.
"When I trained with Shae-Lynn Bourne in Toronto she recommended I skate to West Side Story," she explained.
"I reminded her of the character of Maria, because it's similar to my own personal character - emotional with strong mind and strong heart.
"George Chakiris sent me a letter thanking me for using West Side Story and he wished me all the best at the Olympic Games.
"He said he's looking forward to my performance."