A young figure skater from North Delta has achieved his goal of placing within the top 10 at Skate Canada’s 2019 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships.
On Tuesday, 13-year-old Jonathan Wu from the Sungod Skating Club came in seventh place in Saint John, N.B., an improvement on his 13th place finish at the Skate Canada Challenge in Edmonton, Alta., last month.
Wu was one of 18 youth from across Canada who competed in the Novice Men category for ages 16 and under at the national level.
“I did alright. I just feel like I can always improve,” said Wu, who earned a score of 97.42, just 7.06 points behind Shohei Law of Burnaby’s Champs International Skating Centre of B.C.
Wesley Chiu from Richmond’s Connaught Skating Club came in first place with a score of 146.83, followed by Shuma Mugii of Burnaby’s Champs International Skating Centre of B.C. with a score of 118.39, and Matthew Newnham of St. Albert, Alta. with a score of 116.49.
Wu’s father and his coach Kevin Bursey flew across the country to join him at the competition. The young athlete skated his short program on Monday, Jan. 14 and free program on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at the Harbour Station arena.
He said it was pretty cold in Saint John and “there were huge TV screens everywhere. That was pretty scary.” Still, he was able to adapt and make it work.
“It was nerve-wracking, but when I get onto the ice it always feels better. You’re less nervous, everything feels fine. You’re in your own little world,” Wu told the Reporter. “Just get on the ice and do what you need to do.”
Bursey, who is also director of programs at the Sungod Skating Club, said Wu did very well, particularly on his choreography.
“He really skated from his heart in both programs,” he said.
Bursey said Wu has received a lot of support from Delta residents through social media.
“For Delta to have an athlete doing this kind of event is great for the community. They all got behind him. It’s been very positive.”
This is the first year that the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships were held in Saint John. The week-long event attracted approximately 250 skaters in the men’s, women’s, pairs and ice dance categories. There are three levels of competition: senior, junior and novice.
The young figure skater’s father was there to watch and cheer on his son.
“This is his first national competition. It’s a very special [event] for his parents, himself and the coach,” David Wu said. “I’m proud of his achievements.”
Wu said the first thing he’s going to do after flying home on Wednesday, Jan. 16 is get some sleep.
“Aside from that, I want to talk to my friends from the club and the school about my experience and maybe catch up on what I missed.”
He’ll get a chance to rest over the next few days before heading back out onto the ice to continue training on Monday, Jan. 21.
“He now needs to go back and acquire a higher level of skill with regards to the jumps,” Bursey said. “His goal for next season will be to come back and have a little bit more of a repertoire of triple jumps in his arsenal.”
Wu will focus on mastering choreography for a new program in the spring and start competing again in the summer.