Connaught Skating Club’s Micah Lynette officially goes to work this weekend as Thailand’s senior men’s national champion.
Lynette and Connaught’s director of programs Keegan Murphy are in Hong Kong for the Asian Open. The event has attracted many of the region’s top skaters, including 2014 Winter Olympic Games bronze medalist Dennis Ten of Kazakhstan. It will be the teen’s debut on the international stage.
“This is a very tough competition. Figure skating has developed in Asia the last couple of decades just amazingly,” explained Murphy. “He is going to this for the experience, learning to travel and dealing with jet lag. It’s an opportunity to get in front of a real international judging panel for the very first time.”
It was back in April when Lynette went to Bangkok and won gold at the Thailand National Championships. The soon-to-be Grade 11 student lives in Bellingham and commutes regularly to Richmond for skating, along with his sister Sasha.
As a U.S. citizen, the journey to reach the international level in skating is extremely competitive.
Getting out of the Washington State regionals is a big enough challenge on its own just to qualify for U.S. Nationals. Instead, Lynette has taken advantage his mom being a native of Thailand and being eligible to skate for that country.
“There are a lot of hoops you have to jump through with paper work and regular testing procedures,” said 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.”
The Asian Open is the first of three big events for Lynette.
After the competition, he and Murphy will fly to Bangkok for two weeks of training with other Thailand national team members before heading to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the 29th South East Asia Games. It will be Lynette’s first taste of a multi-sport competition and a top six finish should be well within reach.
His initial time in Thailand last spring will make the return trip much easier.
“It’s going to feel more comfortable because I know everyone now and I have some friends over there too,” he said. “It’s exciting and going to be cool. Having Keegan with me definitely helps a lot.”
The extended Asian trip means Lynette will miss his first week of classes at Sehome High School. He will also get a short rest before resuming his regular training schedule with Connaught in preparation for his next big trip — a 2017 ISU Junior Grand Prix Event in Croatia at the end of September. The goal is to qualify for the 2018 World Junior Championships next Spring in Bulgaria.
“Micah will be going to Croatia to try and establish the minimum technical scores set by the ISU,” added Murphy. “They certainly are not beyond his ability.”