East Coast trip for local skater

Keeping the ball rolling... striking while the iron’s hot... whatever analogy that’s used is applicable and Leonardo Maekawa is happy about it.

Jim Sinclair photo Leo Maekawa at Jr. Nationals.

Keeping the ball rolling… striking while the iron’s hot… whatever analogy that’s used is applicable and Leonardo Maekawa is happy about it.

Things had barely settled down following successful showings in the novice division of the Skate Canada Junior Nationals for both the ice dancing team of himself and sister Pilar (fifth nationally in novice division), and a sixth-place ranking on his own.

It was about a week following the national event at the Save On Foods Memorial Centre that the 18-year-old got the word of another exciting challenge.

“Leonardo has been selected to represent BC at the Canada Winter Games in Halifax this month,” informed his mother Conchita via email last week.

“He will travel with team BC from February 19 to 28. This is very exciting for Leo, this time he will go on his own.”

Not only will he be competing solo, but he’ll be setting a new record for distance traveled for a competition, never having been as far as Nova Scotia.

“My coach Deena (Beacom) phoned me and said she’d had an email from the Skating BC office – that I had been selected.”

Needless to say he’s quite pleased and honoured to accept.

“It’s like the Olympics, that they’re only held every four years,” he said of the Canada Winter Games.

“And you can only compete up to a certain level… pre-novice or novice. So this is pretty much my only chance to go.

So it’s like a real… treat! We weren’t really planning on this so it’s a bonus for me.”

This event will represent the last competitive venture for Leo. He and Pilar will then set about getting ready to move up the ladder to the junior division.

“We’ll work hard on skill development,” he related by phone, “learning new skating routines.”

They will be competing in their new classification as soon as late June.

Watch for an update from Halifax in the next couple of weeks.

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