A Richmond skater celebrated a big win at the Canada Winter Games this year.
Richmond Connaught skater Louie Fukuda-Wu, 15, won silver at the 2023 Canada Winter Games held in Prince Edward Island from Feb. 18 to Mar. 5.
"I felt proud of myself and I couldn't have done any better in the long (skate) program," said Fukuda-Wu.
The 15-year-old Steveston-London student said he fell short in points in his short skate program due to a previous injury, which placed him in fourth place.
“I didn’t do my best in the short program. I was really sad about it, but I just had to move on," he said, adding he made up for it during his long skate program afterwards.
“I got injured a bit before. I didn’t get as much practice (in) as I wanted, but I did get the results. In total, I worked really hard to get my jumps back, all the new jumps and get the sequence consistent."
Keegan Murphy, director of skating programs at Connaught Skating Club, said Fukuda-Wunot only achieved a silver medal but also personal milestones during the competition.
"Louie landed his first triple toe jump in competition, which was a huge milestone for him," said Murphy.
"I think he's shown great character in being away from home, away from his family while trying to sort through the short program results and finding himself onto the podium in the end."
Murphy added that Connaught's coach Megumu Seki provided support to Fukuda and other Team BC skaters for the duration of the games.
From television inspiration to podium
Watching figure skating on TV to stepping on the podium himself was a goal Fukuda-Wu didn't expect to happen so soon.
Fukuda-Wutold the Richmond News that he first became enamoured with figure skating after seeing Japanese gold medallist Yuzuru Hanyu compete in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
"I saw shows how hard he worked to get to the Sochi Olympics and how (Hanyu) got the gold medal," said Fukuda-Wu, adding figure skating appeared to be a challenging sport he wanted to try.
"I think the Canada Winger Games was a really good experience and I learned a lot from it.
"Now, I want to practice more new triple jumps and I'm looking forward to nationals this year."