A fresh start with a familiar coach has added up to Kurtis Hori heading to next month's Canadian Figure Skating Championships in Mississauga, ON.
The 19-year-old from Richmond will be competing in the Junior Men's competition, just months after pondering his future in the sport.
Hori grew up in the Connaught Skating Club's programs before moving to the Centre of Excellence in Burnaby after his Kevin Bursey had departed.
The transition didn't pan out the way Hori had hoped and he considered retiring from competitive skating before giving it one last try - this time reuniting with Bursey at the Sungod Skating Club.
The North Delta organization welcomed him with open arms and Hori hasn't looked back since.
His competitive season got off to a shaky start when he did not perform well at the annual Summerskate event in August.
He was encouraged by one of the judges to upgrade his program to bring it to the level required to be competitive at national events.
After a discussion with Bursey, Hori ditched his program and turned to Los-Angeles based and world known choregra-pher Lorna Brown for a different direction. He spent four days with her in LA and they came up with a upbeat and inspiring program that features a medley of Beatles music.
Still, it was a bold move given Hori had just six weeks to nail it before the B.C./ Yukon Sectional Championships. Typically, competitive figure skaters begin work on new programs in the spring.
The short time frame didn't stop Hori from finishing second at the Sectionals and winning the event's Artistic Award, beating out Senior and Junior competitors.
He continued to train hard for the next month, leading up to the recent Skate Canada Challenge in Regina.
Sungod members crowded around a computer monitor at the arena to watch his free skate as the club was on the verge of being represented at the nationals for the first time in recent memory. It wasn't his best performance but it was enough to get him to Mississauga.
The Hori family has been greatly touched by the support shown for Kurtis from the club, including a bake sale to help with his travel expenses.
Hori, who is a full-time student at Kwantlen University, is also a member of the Sungod coaching staff.
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