A seven-year-old Ukrainian figure skater who fled the war to live in Bristol received training from a professional skater at Dancing On Ice, after being featured on Sky News.

Gosha Mandziuk competed nationally at home and trained six days a week, but the conflict left him struggling to maintain his training.

Now the UK ice skating community has rallied in support of him, including American professional skater Matt Evers, who has starred in every series of the ITV show.

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“Seeing and hearing his story really touched my heart,” Matt said.

“I think as a pro skater and working with 15 different celebrities on Dancing On Ice, we can spot some things that a normal coach or skater can’t see.

“Seeing the recordings of him and from the time you filmed, I can definitely see that he has potential. Even the way he holds himself in his skates – he just got it – it’s a talented child!”

Gosha has also been trained by coaches at his new local ice rink, Planet Ice in Bristol.

Fiona Forbes Zaldua is the head coach there.

Gosha Mandziuk, his mother Iryna and Dancing on Ice professional skater Matt Evers.  Figure skater Gosha, 7, from Ukraine, fled the war to live in Bristol and received training from a Dancing On Ice pro, after being featured on Sky News.
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Matt Evers has appeared on every season of ITV’s Dancing On Ice

She said: “I gave him some solid lessons. I got him to stretch his legs, stretch his arms, look up so he wouldn’t look down on the ice and bring out his very nice confidence he has.

“He’s a very brave little boy to have gone through what he’s got, and we just want to support him in any way we can.”

Gosha and her mother Iryna moved into foster care in Bristol in April.

Gosha Mandziuk, his mother Iryna and Dancing on Ice professional skater Matt Evers.  Figure skater Gosha, 7, from Ukraine, fled the war to live in Bristol and received training from a Dancing On Ice pro, after being featured on Sky News.

She told Sky News they were overwhelmed with the level of support they received.

“Since the last shoot, we’ve met a lot of amazing people. You can’t even realize that so many people are eager to help, to help. I’m sure he’s more confident now.

“He’s got a lot of instruction, he’s going on the ice, he’s gotten new skates and his skating is smoother, so he’s stronger now than he was.”

“We miss home”

Iryna’s husband and Gosha’s father are always back Ukraine – and Iryna hopes they can go home as soon as possible.

She said: “Gosha is a hard worker. To be talented in this type of sport, you have to work hard.

“We have to come back, it’s his job, his effort he’s been doing since he was four – we don’t want to lose him. We miss our home, we miss our country, we miss our family and our coaches like well, we’d like to come back – we have to plan.”

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Until then, Matt says he will continue to support Gosha.

“I will definitely follow his journey, and who knows, in a few years, maybe he will be in Dancing on Ice, you never know!” he said.

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