Harley Windsor and Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya say the best is yet to come
19 February 2018
FIGURE SKATING: It was a whirlwind build-up to the Olympics for pairs skaters Harley Windsor and Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya, and almost a week since their impressive debut, the young team are still pinching themselves.
“Going from nothing to the Olympic Games in two years is pretty amazing,” Windsor said.
“We were out there on the biggest stage in the world and I’m still getting so much feedback from people, it’s incredible.”
“It was amazing because it was two years and a big result,” Alexandrovskaya said. “Now I just want to go to the next Olympics.”
And while Windsor’s story, from a young boy growing up in humble surrounds to becoming the first Indigenous Winter Olympian, captured the imagination of fans and news outlets across the globe, their strong performance has also not gone unnoticed.
“It was a big step for us and we just wanted to do a clean program and we did,” the 21-year-old said.
“The feedback from everyone has been amazing. I think some people didn’t really expect us to do so well, and now I feel like we will get more respect in the senior ranks.
“I think we will come away from this better than ever, and now we will train harder. From this Olympics we’ve learned that it’s a far bigger scale than we thought it was. There’s so much preparation that goes into it and some countries put thousands and thousands of dollars into their athletes, and now I really understand what we’re up against,” he said.
“We wanted to do two programs,” Alexandrovskaya said. “But at least what we did, we did well. But next time it will be two programs. I know that.”
After the closing ceremony Windsor will return to Australia for a few days, before joining his partner in Moscow, to resume training ahead of the World Championships.
“We haven’t been daunted by this experience,” Windsor said. “In fact, I think our goals have got bigger now.
“It’s hard to say exactly what we will do over the next four years, because skating changes so quickly, but I know for sure we will be back next time.”
And while the couple admits that balancing their expectations whilst under the watch of so many people hasn’t been easy, they believe they’ve worked out the secret to a good skating partnership.
“We actually try to avoid each other when we’re off the ice,” Windsor laughed.
“When we are on the ice it’s just hard work, it’s strictly business. And when we are off the ice we try to stay out of each other’s hair as much as possible.
“When you spend so much time with someone you need time apart. I don’t know how some pairs are in a relationship with each other; they skate all day together and then go home together and they’re with each other all the time. I couldn’t do that.
“I already spend the majority of my time holding her hand, that’s enough for me. We need time apart.”
And as the pair spend their last week in the Village watching other sports and cheering on the remainder of the Aussie athletes, they admit the enormity of what they’ve accomplished is slowly sinking in.
“I feel great, I just love this whole experience and I want more.” Alexandrovskaya said.
“We were on the biggest stage in the world and obviously there’s a lot to be proud of,” Windsor agreed.
“How many people can call themselves Olympians? It’s such a small number of us, so just the whole achievement of it and the fact that you can put that next to your name now is amazing.”
“I mean, we’re Olympians, that’s a big thing and really cool.”