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Richmond skating sensation medals in his first men's nationals

Wesley Chiu is now a possible alternate for the Olympics next month at age 16

Despite being a possible alternate for the Olympics, 16-year-old Richmond figure skater Wesley Chiu can’t even think about the Beijing Games right now.

The Connaught skating sensation is still coming to terms with his incredible bronze medal in the men’s category at the nationals in Ottawa over the weekend.

Wesley flew back from Ontario on Sunday evening with his latest accolade in his baggage, along with memories of a podium spot which makes him a consideration for the Olympics, should one of the two chosen skaters drop out.

Not that the Games next month are lingering for a second on the young athlete, who’s already focusing on a four continents championship in Estonia, in the senior category, next Monday.

“I was definitely a bit surprised but I knew, beforehand, it wasn’t impossible for me to medal in this competition,” Wesley said of his bronze medal.

“It became a reality when I was in the silver medal position after the short program. I was still trying to calm myself down after my last skate, still catching my breath.”

He said his achievement didn’t really sink in until he was about to step onto the podium, adding that it “wasn’t real until then.”

Wesley’s mother and son coaching team of Eileen and Keegan Murphy were thrilled by their student’s performance.

“It usually takes a few years competing at this level for young skaters to make it onto the podium,” said Keegan.