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Richmond skater strikes gold at BC Winter Games

William Chan adds new jump to reach the top of the podium in Fort St. John
Connaught Skating Club's William Chan with his BC Winter Games gold medal and coach Matthew McEwan.

It was a golden trip to Fort St. John for William Chan.

The young member of Richmond’s Connaught Skating Club captured the Juvenile Men’s competition at the B.C. Winter Games.

It was back in November when Chan qualified for the event by finishing third at the B.C./Yukon Sectional Championships. Facing essentially the same skaters in Fort St. John, he did even better with a new element to his two-minute-plus performance helping the cause.

Chan attempted a double axle in a competition for the very first time. He had been working hard on the jump in training for the last couple of months.

The Games took place at a time of year that is considered the “off-season” for the majority of competitive skaters. They are usually working on their programs for the following competitive year. In Chan’s case it’s making the jump to Pre-Novice next season and skating short and long programs for the first time.

“It’s a strange time of year to have a figure skating competition but maybe it makes more sense for the other sports,” explained Chan’s coach Matthew McEwan. “It’s a transitional phase for us and William is doing a lot right with the big jump to Pre-Novice.

“It was probably two weeks before the Games we decided to go with it. He was making some steps forward with it and we felt it was time to test it in a competition and see what happens. It was probably one of his better attempts under pressure. He really rose to the competition.”

The Grade 6 student at Wilfred Laurier Elementary in Vancouver ended up with a score two points higher than what he achieved earlier in Kelowna — rising to the top of the podium.