Some of the world’s top figure skaters will showcase their gorgeous glides and seamless spins at the Asian Open Figure Skating Trophy 2017 at Megabox, Kwun Tong from August 2-5. The event will bring around 150 talented skaters together from 15 countries including Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Kazkhstan, and the US.
Harry Lee, Nicole Chan and Rachelle Kwong are three young Hong Kong representatives looking to impress the home crowd after months of intensive training in Dongguan, in the mainland.
“Now that it’s summer, I can just focus on training,” said Nicole, 14.
“I have been skating all day, every day,” said the Renaissance College student, who will be competing in the Advanced Novice Girls’ division.
Nicole has been figure skating since she was four, and knew right away that it was her passion. She intends to continue skating until she is “forced to retire”.
She is, however, aware of the hard work and dedication required to succeed in the sport. Harry, for instance, has been training eight hours a day, six days a week to prepare for the competition.
“I have two on-ice training sessions and one off-ice every day,” said the 23-year-old. “We do a lot of work on strength and conditioning, and we make sure our techniques are perfect before we try them on the ice.”
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Safety is vital in figure skating, as Harry knows all too well. In Form Five, he suffered a serious leg injury in volleyball training, which forced him to consider hanging up the skates for good.
“In the end, I decided to give up volleyball and just focus on skating,” explained Harry, who will be competing in the Senior Men’s division.
“I’m so happy I chose figure skating because it’s what I truly love,” he added.
While both share the same burning passion, Harry and Nicole fell in love with the sport for different reasons.
“I love performing in front of people,” said Nicole, who showed off her elegant and graceful moves at the competition showcase on Tuesday. “I love listening to the music, performing in rhythm with my songs, and telling a story.”
Harry, on the other hand, brings tremendous physical presence to the ice rink. He enjoys finding the courage to try, and ultimately, execute difficult tricks and jumps.
“My best trick is called the ‘triple-triple’, where you jump and spin in the air three times – three times in a row,” Harry said. “It’s scary; whether it’s your first time trying it, or if you’ve done it 100 times before.”
The key to finding the courage to even attempt these tricks, Harry said, is to accept that failure is not only possible, but inevitable. This advice applies not just to figure skating, but life in general.
“You need to tell yourself that you must fall over – that you need to fall over – in order to perform these tricks. Otherwise, there’s no way you will be able to succeed.”
Young Post wishes these young Hongkongers all the best in their upcoming competition!