Stepping on the ice for Thursday’s mens short program at the ISU Junior Grand Prix at Minoru Arenas will be an accomplishment in itself for Michah Lynette.
Up until about four weeks ago, there was no certainty the 17-year-old was going to be able to be part of an international competition taking place in his very own training venue.
The Connaught Skating Club member and two-time Thailand senior men’s national champion suffered a bad ankle sprain back in June. Lynette could not even stand or walk, never mind skate. The initial diagnosis was no skating for six weeks — essentially wiping out a crucial stretch of summer training, leading up to the Grand Prix.
“I told him him that wasn’t going to work,” smiled Lynette. “The response was it was really going to depend on how well I could strengthen it.”
Lynette cut the recovering time in half and subsequent training has been a very slow and deliberate pace.
“I am happy and relieved for him that he gets to be a part of of this event. Couple of months ago, I didn’t know if it would be possible,” admitted his coach Keegan Murphy. “Training has been very low quantity. Instead of working on something 15 times, it’s been five. But it’s forcing himself to do it right when he needs to, rather than over and over again. That’s actually been a really good thing. The key has been being smart and diligent.”
The Grade 12 student says he has gone through three weeks of the hardest training he has ever done to reach this point. He suggests his ankle is somewhere between “85 and 90 percent” and the focus this week will be on his performance rather than the result.
Lynette is coming off a terrific 2017-18 season that saw him finish 23rd at his first-ever World Junior Championship and defend his Thailand senior men’s national title.
The Bellingham resident skate’s for his mother’s country origin which has opened the door for the international stage rather than qualifying through the extremely competitive US Sectionals.
The long-term goal is representing Thailand at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. He was intending to skate in China for the first time when he had the chance to pick his Grand Prix schedule. However, China pulled out and the event was picked up by Skate Canada with Connaught promoting the Richmond bid.
“I was going to go to the first one in Austria (last week) until the injury. I heard China had dropped out and Keegan was working hard to pick it up. I came to the rink one day and he showed me the event logo. Now here we are,” added Lynette.
The rest of his coming season schedule will include the ISU Four Continents Championships in Anaheim next February and the 2019 Junior Worlds in Croatia.