SWEABURG'S GRAYSON LOCHHEAD AND SKATING PARTNER OLIVIA HAN WILL COMPETE AT THE ISU JUNIOR GRAND PRIX
posted Aug 12, 2016, 8:23 AM
Sweaburg's Grayson Lochhead and skating partner Olivia Han will compete at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Yokohama, Japan
Woodstock's Grayson Lochhead, right, and partner Olivia Han won gold in the novice dance division at the 2016 National Skating Championship in Halifax, N.S. The pair made the jump to the junior category and will compete at the International Skating Union Grand Prix in Yokohama, Japan Sept. 7 to 11. (Submitted photo)
Lochhead, a member of the Woodstock Skating Club, became the club’s first skater to win a national gold medal when the pair won the novice dance division at the 2016 National Skating Championship in Halifax, N.S. earlier this year.
Following their gold medal win, the skating pair will make the jump to the junior ranks with the continued goal of competing both nationally and internationally after one year at the novice level.
“In first-year, we did really well. It was a natural fit,” Lochhead said in an earlier interview with the Sentinel-Review.
“I was thinking it’d be disappointing if we didn’t improve. Pre-novice to novice is a bit of a jump, not quite like going to junior, but being a first-year and to win is pretty cool,” he added at the time.
“Since we won novice, we might get a chance to compete in International events,” Han said in an email last February to the Sentinel-Review, “which means we will have to skate even better than just Canadian juniors but also international junior ice dancers… but we also need to improve on a lot of things.”
Lochhead is a former College Avenue Secondary School student who trains in Waterloo five a week between 15 to 20 hours a week.
The ISU Junior Grand Prix are a series of seven international events taking place from late-August to mid-October and feature categories like individual male, individual female, pairs and ice dance couples.
The ISU is composed of 69 member federations that are limited at sending a specific number of skaters per event. For the Yokohama event, Canada was allowed to send one ice dance couple, which are Lochhead and Han. The event will have 40 nations compete at various competitions, including 29 in the ice dance couples division.
The skating pair have set up a GoFundMe account to help with travel costs.
HEART FM - THE FRIENDLY CITY WILL BE WELL REPRESENTED AT AN INVITATIONAL SKATING EVENT IN JAPAN
posted Aug 11, 2016, 9:03 AM
Wednesday, August 10th, 2016 9:58am
The Friendly City will be well represented at an invitational skating event happening in Japan.
WOODSTOCK - The only figure skater from Woodstock to ever win a National Gold Medal is heading to Japan for the ISU Junior Grand Prix.
Grayson Lochhead will be heading to Yokohama for the pairs competition with his partner Olivia Han. Grayson and Olivia won the Novice dance division at the 2016 National Skating Championship. He tells Heart FM this is an elite invitational event and the pair will represent Canada against 30 other nations.
"It's amazing, it's our first one and we have a big role to play so we have to go and show our best, I am very honoured to get this spot."
He does admit that figure skating wasn't his first passion.
"I started playing hockey when I was 4, my dad and my grandpa they liked to play hockey, my mom was always a figure skating coach, she's been a figure skating coach for over 30 years and I started figure skating when I was 7. I don't admit this often but I really didn't like the sport at first, it wasn't until I started training for the dance competitions in Waterloo when I was 11 that I really started to love figure skating."
President of the Woodstock Skating Club Santia Alves says while exciting, the family not only sees the physical and emotionally challenges, but the financial stress as well.
"Travel, competitions, costumes, ice time, lessons and boarding all add up very quickly. With Grayson starting to take his skating in a much more competitive direction, we have easily spent $50,000 over the past 3 years."
Friends and family have come together to start a GoFundMe account which you can see here.