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  • Kyla Kahrs

Incredible Talents Shown at Figure Skating

Although the temperature outside is barely cold enough to keep ice frozen, inside the Mac Center the ice is perfect and ready for the free skate competitions. With spins and jumps, skaters show off impressive skills. They also show incredible sportsmanship on and off the ice. When an athlete took an unintentional tumble, the audience encouraged them to get up and endure, and they were quick to recover. Their compatriots cheered them on at every twist and turn. 

In the Level 1 competition, 13-year-old Solenn Kikoak from the Northwest Territories skated with style to “Pretty Baby, I need you baby”. Fifteen-year-old Aidyn Lewis from Alaska was clearly a crowd favorite, not only for her skating but for her work raising over $1,000 for Scott Hamilton Cares outreach for cancer research by selling cupcakes. As impressive as these two were, sadly neither placed in the top three.

Alexis Robinson and Mya Hussey, both 13 from Team Alberta North, took first and second; Alexis also earned gold in the Short Program. Laura Ruiz, 12, earned her place on the podium and the bronze ulu to take back to Team Yukon.

The Level 2 competition had even more impressive stunts. Fewer teams were represented at this level. Some of the favorites for this round were 14 year old Niobe Clinton from Northwest Territories, 15 year old Madisyn Millar of Yukon, and 14 year old Iyla Wagner of Alberta North. But it was Elyssa McLellan, 15, and Iyla Wagner, 14, of Alberta North who earned gold and silver, and Ruby Shyne Kim of Alaska, one of the youngest figure skaters at 11, took bronze. All three medaled in the same positions yesterday in the Short Program. As a fun fact, Elyssa McLellan wants to become a Sports Psychologist as her future career.

For the Level 3 competition, the routines really ramped up. Competitors showed off their combination spins with more command of the ice. There were only three skaters at this level, but all three had been skating for nearly their entire lives. Julianne Howse from Alberta North started skating at the age of 3 in Newfoundland. Kaley Boucher, 17 of Alberta North, blew the other two out of the water to reach the top of the podium. Miah Reid Harris, 16 of the Northwest Territories earned the silver ulu, and Julianne Howse, 17, ended this round of the Figure Skating Competition with bronze.

Finally, the Level 4 competition showcased the hard work and determination of four more amazing athletes. The talent of these young women, with their dizzying spins and speed, is incredible to behold. Lily Brennan, 16, took home another gold ulu for the Northwest Territories. Kaitlyn Joseph, 14 from Anchorage, has been skating for just four years and reached the second step on the podium. Finally, Gwendolynn Cheney, 16 from Eagle River, earned bronze on her home ice rink.

As youth leaders in their homelands, many of these amazing young ladies teach and coach younger and less experienced skaters. Given the time they need to dedicate to training and studies, it is truly inspiring that they also take the time to give back in this area they love. Each of the competitors worked incredibly hard and tried their best. Congratulations to them all.


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