Eight athletes from the Richmond-based Connaught Skating Club will be heading to Winnipeg to fight for a spot in the national championship next week.
Melody Zhu and Gabriel Blumenthal are two of the eight skaters from Connaught who are competing in the Skate Canada Challenge that will take place from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3
Zhu, who recently joined the Richmond club, said she struggled last year but is excited to be returning to the ice to compete for the senior ladies category this year.
"This year, I was able to really find myself and I think I'm more prepared for this upcoming competition," said Zhu, adding she was going through a lot of "mental and physical struggles in the past year.
"I'm hoping to really show that I'm capable of in the long program. I'm just working on my solos every day. I'm not giving up and looking forward to the competition."
Meanwhile, Blumenthal, who also recently joined the club, will be competing in the seniors' men in the Skate Canada Challenge.
Blumenthal told the Richmond News he's feeling good and confident from his training after switching to the Richmond club.
"I have like higher jumps now compared to last year. This year it's a new club, new costumes and never everything so I definitely have a lot of new skills to show off this year compared to last year," he said.
"It's the first national-level competition of the season so it's quite exciting."
Connaught Skating Club's coach Keegan Murphy said the athletes competing are "peaking at the right time" for the competition, and he believes they all have what it takes to qualify for the Canadian championships as long as they "perform the way they train every day."
The athletes participating at Skate Canada are as follows:
- David Li - Junior men
- Neo Tran - Junior men
- Angelina Guan - Junior ladies
- Ellie Cheung - Junior ladies
- Melody Zhu - Senior ladies
- Amy Shao Ning Yang - Senior ladies
- Gabriel Blumenthal - Senior men
- Wesley Chiu - Senior men