From Bellingham to Richmond to Bangkok. Micah Lynette’s journey to the international stage in figure skating is more like an Amazing Race episode.
The 16-year-old member of the Connaught Skating Club made a successful debut at the recent Thailand National Figure Skating Championships — being crowned senior men’s champion. He will represent the country at this summer’s Southeast Asia Games in Kuala Lumpur and, more importantly, can now compete in Junior Grand Prix events this fall.
Lynette, along with his sister Sasha, have been training with Connaught for roughly the past five years — making the northern trip from their home in Bellingham as often as five days a week. With no local options available, the family’s nearest U.S.-based club was in Everett but they ended up crossing the border to land with Connaught.
Micha has carved out a promising career but had got the point where he had to do well at the highly-competitive Washington State regionals if he ever wanted to skate at the U.S. Nationals. Representing the U.S. internationally would be an even greater task given the extremely deep talent pool he would be up against.
“With the American (competitive) track in figure skating there is no shortage of talent,” explained Lynette who turned to skating after getting his start on the ice playing hockey.
Instead, the Grade 10 student at Sehome High School, discovered a different path that took advantage of his mom being a native of Thailand. After plenty of emails, Lynette’s status became official and he was off to Bangkok for nationals.
“There are a lot of hoops you have to jump through with paper work and regular testing procedures,” explained Connaught Director of Programs and Lynette’coach Keegan Murphy. “It’s not the first time we have done this. We have had other international skaters who have trained with us and went overseas to compete.
“For developing nations like Thailand, Micah’s level is quite high — to the point where it’s 50/50 he is in a class of his own. With that opportunity, he will step immediately onto the international scene and then go up against the toughest competition (in the world). It’s a huge life opportunity to be able to skate on that stage and get the triple axles and quad jumps going. You get to travel the world and these are the things that will change your like and change your resumé.”
Murphy also stressed it has taken tremendous dedication and work ethic for Lynette to even get this opportunity. The club simply doesn’t do this for any skater that might have eligibility elsewhere.
“I am proud of him for developing himself to the point where he is now,” added Murphy. “If he hadn’t done so, this simply wouldn’t have been an option. He is at a very high level where he is (regularly) doing triple axles and quads. He is in a great position developmentally with years ahead of him. Now he has this really cool opportunity. It’s taken a big approach with his family and coaches involved but he is the one that has had to do all the hard work.”
Lynette says he is looking forward to the new path in his skating career and the many doors it will open. However, school also remains high on his priority.
“I’m thankful Connaught took me and my sister in,” he added. “I’m looking forward to what is ahead in the future but there is always going to balance with my school and eventually college.”