(L-R) US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Russian figure skating coach Tatyana Tarasova watch Russian figure skaters perform at the CSKA ice arena in Moscow.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice turned down a chance Saturday to show off her ice-skating talents and warm up frosty US-Russian relations during a visit to a rink in Russia.
Rice, herself a former ice-skating champion, joked that it was 10 years since she last put on her skates and cut a figure on the ice.
"There is this theory that ice skating is like riding a bicycle: you just get back on it, you immediately know how to do it," she said, adding: "I'm not going to take that chance -- just in case it's not true!"
Rice met with around 30 young ice-skaters at the Russian Army Sports Club rink who gave the top US diplomat a demonstration of their skills before posing for photographs.
Rice was a competitive ice skater between the ages of 12 and 17. She said she lost her skates in the move from Stanford University in California, where she was a lecturer, to Washington when she joined the Bush administration in 2000.
On Friday Russian and US differences were laid bare when the two countries failed to find a way forward on the proposed US anti-missile defence system in Europe.