Skating club hopes to send young figure skater to Canadian Figure Skating Championships

13 year old Leah Lee has her sights set on figure skating title


Reported by Lisa Tanh

A former Olympic figure skating competitor and judge is preparing a group of local figure skaters for this year’s provincial championships.

Thirteen year old novice, Leah Lee, a figure skater from Vancouver’s Sunset Skating Club and her coaches feel that she will make it all the way to this year’s Canadian Figure Skating Championships.

“This year’s championships is so important to me because it’s my chance to show what I can really do,” said Lee. “As to last year’s championships, I wasn’t able to perform my best due to my back injuries.”

Olympic coach hopes to send skater to championships

Skating Director, Jennifer Yibing Jiang, 1988 Winter Olympics figure skating competitor and judge at the 2006 Winter Olympics, is sending nine figure skaters to this year’s Super Series BC/YK Championships. The nine figure skaters are between the ages of 9 to 14.

“For this competition, every year it’s really important to everyone,” said Jiang. “It’s the last competition and it’s the qualifying [stage] but it’s good for the skaters to compete.”

From Nov. 9 to 12, Skate Canada British Columbia/Yukon will host the BC/YK Section Championships in Parksville, where the province’s top figure skaters will compete to enter the next round of qualifying events leading to the Canadian Figure Skating Championships. The Canadian Figure Skating Championships is held annually to crown the national champions of Canada and will be the trials for the Winter Olympics.

To prepare for the BC/YK Championships, Jiang says she has a detailed plan for each skater.

“We have a whole year plan [for the skaters],” Jiang said. “And then we report [to the skaters’ parents] on how much they’ve improved and next steps.”

Figure skaters preparing for the competition year round

Gary Lim, president at the Sunset Skating Club, says these plans are in addition to prepping skaters for competitions and getting their programs choreographed.

“They work hard. Most of them skate 5-6 days a week and do off-ice training as well,” Lim said.

Ted Barton, executive director at Skate Canada British Columbia/Yukon, says the pressure at the BC/YK Section Championships is far greater than any other competition.

“You need to get a certain placement in order to qualify,” Barton said. “It’s a first step on the way to nationals.”

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