Sports

Sooke may still make an appearance in the Winter Olympics, but not until 2018

Pilar and Leonardo Maekawa skating at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany last year.  - Submitted photo
Pilar and Leonardo Maekawa skating at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany last year.
— image credit: Submitted photo

Pilar and Leonardo Maekawa have their eye on the Winter Olympics. Not for this round in Russia, but for the 2018 games in  Pyeongchang, South Korea, between 9 and 25 February 2018.

The sibling skaters did try to get in for this year’s games. After competing at the 2013 BC/YK SummerSkate, held in Burnaby this past August — where they won a silver medal — they competed in the US Classic held in Salt Lake City. From there, they went to Germany to compete at the Nebelhorn Trophy in late September. This event could have qualified them for this year’s Winter Olympics. According to their mother, Conchita Maekawa, “Because they just started to be noticed at this level, with less than a year at the Senior level, [it] was going to be very difficult to qualify, but they did give a great impression and were told that [the] next Olympics will be their time.”

Pilar and Leonardo have trained alongside Canadian and Olympic champions, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. The sibling pair have worked with coach Marina Zueva, who also coached Virtue and Moir (2010 Olympic Ice Dance Gold medalists, Canada), as well as Meryl Davis and Charlie White (2010 Olympic Ice Dance Silver Medalists, US). Currently, they are training in at the Racquet Club of Victoria with Coach Matt Willis. Sooke is their home base.

“They decided to train and try for the 2018 Olympics,” sums up Conchita, “and that will be the last try. For now, they are happy and training hard, for the second time in a row, they qualify for the prestigious competition [ISU] Four Continents that will be held in Taipei on January 20-25. Pilar and Leonardo are the only ones from Vancouver Island ever to qualify for this important competition and they have done now twice.”

This talented sibling pair were both born in Mexico City (Pilar born August, 1994, and Leonardo born August, 1992) and are currently living in Sooke.

To follow the ongoing skating adventures of this dancing sibling due, you can follow their Facebook page at facebook.com/PilarLeonardoMaekawa

 

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