Sooke skaters heading to international event

Leonardo and Pilar Maekawa heading to Croatia for the Golden Spin of Zagreb

Leonardo and Pilar Maekawa during the Free Dance event.

Sooke’s brother and sister figure skating duo recently earned second place at Mexico Nationals and a bid to compete in the Golden Spin of Zagreb in Croatia, which runs from Dec. 13-15.

The European competition holds high-stakes for Leonardo Maekawa, 20, and sister, Pilar Maekawa, 18, as they hope to earn enough points to qualify for the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Japan in February.

The Four Continents sees competitors from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania.

“Our goal for this competition is to accumulate a certain amount of points, and if we get these points we can qualify for the Four Continents,” Leonardo said.

“If we make it, that’ll be the biggest competition we have ever been to,” he said. “It’s a huge step forward for us.”

Internationally, the Maekawas have competed in Mexico three times, and in Austria and Milan.

In order to prep for the Golden Spin, Leonardo and Pilar train six days a week on the ice for an average of about two to four hours day.

Another aspect of their regiment is ballroom dancing, hip hop dancing and fitness training.

Their resolve and determination is clear. The pair only had a month to train for Mexico Nationals, as Leonardo had been recovering from an ankle injury he sustained in October 2011.

He was on and off the ice for the better part of a year, and only fully recovered in mid-October.

“Halfway through October is when I started feeling back to 100 per cent,” Leonardo said.

He also underwent surgery on his ankle in June to replace screws and inject bone to expedite healing.

Mexico Nationals on Nov. 12-18 was also their first event at the seniors level, which meant tougher competition.

“We had one month to choreograph and catch up from junior all the way to senior,” Pilar said. “Junior to senior is huge step forward and we did quite well.”

“The other competitors that we were competing against had been skating at that level for a longer period than us,” Leonardo said, adding the pair needed to work twice as hard to bridge the gap between the junior and senior levels.

Skating together for about 12 years, Leonardo and Pilar gauge their passion an 11/10.

“It’s not just our career or passion, it’s a lifestyle,” Leonardo said.

“We’ve done it for so long now, it’d be very strange to not have it around,” Pilar added.

 

 

 

Just Posted

“Winter Heart” a musical gift to Sooke

Community Choir’s Christmas offering a thoughtful seasonal concert

Provincial housing boss brought home more than $350,000 in 2017-18

BC Housing develops, manages and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options

Greater Victoria bike sharing company looks to lock out thieves, vandals

U-Bicycle has lost about 10 per cent of its fleet to theft and vandalism

STUDENT VOICE: Why it’s important to balance your school and sleep schedule

The debate of whether or not to guzzle multiple cups of coffee… Continue reading

New report finds B.C. victims of opioids crisis on lower of end of socio-economic spectrum

UVic scholar calls for decriminalization of drugs responsible for opioid crisis

Calgarians vote ‘no’ to bidding for 2026 Winter Games, in plebiscite

Out of 767,734 eligible voters, 304,774 voted and 171,750 said ”no.”

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

Wildfire death toll rises in California as search for missing continues

Authorities reported six more fatalities from the Northern California blaze, bringing the total number of dead so far to 48.

B.C. MLAs urge Trudeau to call byelection immediately in Burnaby-South

Four NDP provincial politicians from British Columbia are urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to immediately call a byelection in the federal riding of Burnaby-South.

Prince Charles turns 70 with party, new family photos

Charles is due to have tea on Wednesday with a group of people who are also turning 70 this year

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Student arrested at Vancouver Island elementary school

Pupils never in danger, incident unrelated to the school

POLL: Have BC Ferry waits ever forced you to cancel your travel plans?

Many BC Ferry passengers heading out from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen on… Continue reading

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Most Read