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The future looks to be figured out

24 February 2018

FIGURE SKATING: If there was any doubt that Australian figure skating was improving, the results from these Olympics have surely put them to rest.

Fielding competitive athletes in three of the four divisions – men’s, ladies, and pairs – Australia as a nation has proved that it really can produce elite skaters.

Across the board all skaters finished with a result in the top 20 of their division, doing themselves and their country proud.

In the pairs event Harley Windsor made history as the first Indigenous Winter Olympian, but he and his partner Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya also proved they were far not there to make up the numbers, executing a clean program with a technical score that had them ranked thirteenth in the short program.

“To be able to go out there and put down a solid skate like we did, on the biggest stage in the world, that’s something I’m incredibly proud of,” Windsor said. “I feel like we’ve only just started the journey.”

Two-time Olympian Brendan Kerry was next to skate, and with a powerful quad toe loop jump to open his short program, he proved he has long put the demons of the past to bed, and has well and truly etched his name in the top tier of male figure skaters.

“It was a huge confidence booster to be able to get that quad jump done and now I’m focused on putting harder elements in,” Kerry said. “I want to use this experience to help me at Worlds, because now I’m determined to really go for it.”

And Olympic debutant Kailani Craine also didn’t disappoint, putting down two clean programs in a performance that saw her popularity in the global skating community continue to skyrocket.

“I really could not have asked for a better Olympic Games,” Craine said. “I came here with the goal of getting through to the free skate, and once I’d done that I just wanted a clean free skate, and then I did that too. I couldn’t be happier.”

“I’ve been overwhelmed by all the support and encouragement. I know that it’s me being greedy but now I don’t want to just do another Olympic Games, I want to do another three or four of them, it’s just such an honour to represent your country and such a special thing to be a part of.”

It’s hoped that by 2022 Australia will also be able to field an ice dance team, which will make us qualify for the team event – giving skaters the added benefit of an extra competition, and further exposure.

Katherine Firkin

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