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.

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.

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rachna Singh, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers, is the Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives. (Photo courtesy of flickr.com/photos/bcgovphotos)
A micro brewery is being eyed for Jordan River. However, the site where the brewery is proposed still needs to go through the rezoning process. (Black Press Media file)
Micro brewery proposed for Jordan River

Jordan River Brewing Company envisions to build wholesale, sit-in brewery along Highway 14

Traffic waits at the intersection of Highway 17 and Beacon Avenue. A study found failing levels of service at the intersection of Highway 17 and Sidney’s Beacon Avenue for multiple movements during morning peak traffic and for all left-moving traffic during afternoon peak traffic. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Province supports potential interim improvements to Sidney intersection

Province says interchange is the long-term plan for intersection of Beacon Avenue and Highway 17

Oak Bay local Lachlan Kratz (red, middle) has signed with pro rugby team NOLO Gold in Louisiana. (Contributed photo)
Oak Bay local signs with pro rugby team

Lachlan Kratz at 21 is now NOLO Gold’s youngest member

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

Most Read