Congratulations to Olivia & Grayson on their outstanding performance at the Junior Grand Prix in Poland.
Olivia & Grayson earned a 6th in Short dance, 5th in Free Dance, with a total 120.55 finishing 7th overall. They skated to both personal best and seasons best with the second highest technical score of the competition, which is amazing!
We are all extremely proud of you both! Congrats!
Videos of both their Free skate and Short Dance can be found below.
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 09:03
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.
Grayson Lochhead becomes Woodstock’s first figure skating national gold medalist
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 will likely jump to the junior division next year after a successful two years in pre-novice and novice. (Submitted photo)
When Grayson Lochhead and Olivia Han were skating off the ice, they knew they had put themselves in a place to win nationals.
As they reached their seats a few feet from the ice, the announcer broadcasted their points total. With the sound of the tally ringing through the Halifax, N.S. arena, Lochhead turned his head to the right to look at Han and a smile overtook his face.
“As soon as they announced that, I turned to Olivia and said, ‘we won! we won!’,” Lochhead said as they realized they had won gold in the novice dance division at the 2016 National Skating Championship.
The pair finished with a two-day total of 90.26 points - slightly more than a full point ahead of the second place team - to claim top spot after they entered the final dance in second place and a little more than a year after they won silver in the pre-novice division at Sake Canada’s challenge championships.
“In first-year, we did really well. It was a natural fit,” Lochhead, 16, said, adding they wanted to improve on last years second place finish but it wasn’t the entire motivating factor at nationals.
“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 noted.
Following a successful first-year, the two continued to succeed this past skating season, though admittedly with the occasional bump in the road that any team’s affected by.
The odd argument or conflict would flare up, but with the common goal of continuing to improve, and their coaches guidance, they refined their on-ice performances.
In all their competitions at the novice level this past year, they either finished first or second as they improved on their first season with one eye towards a promising future.
“We had some good achievements over the last couple of years which made us feel more motivated towards our next goals,” Han, who represents the Kitchener-Waterloo Skating Club, said in an email. “The competitions kept us together from arguing and conflicts because we had one goal and we had to do that together. The sport is not possible with only one person, so that's what we really appreciated each other on.”
For Lochhead, who represents the Woodstock Skating Club and is a former College Avenue Secondary School student, he becomes the first Woodstock skater to win a national gold medal.
In an email, Marie Bowerman the former longtime WSC administrator, wrote others have come close but not quite hit the mark. Eddie Collins won silver at nationals with his partner, Ann Martin, in 1958 and Ross Garner also won silver in 1964 with his partner Sharon Davis. Julie Bowerman also earned silver at nationals in novice ladies’ category in 1973 and a bronze in the junior division in 1974.
And now with little left to accomplish at the novice level, the pair will move into the junior division with sights on competing at international events that’s part of the International Skating Union.
Winning silver and gold in their division at the national level will no doubt start to garner attention their way.
“Since we won novice, we might get a chance to compete in International events,” Han said in an email, “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.”
They’ll continue to train in their off-season, albeit at a much less rigorous pace than their usual 10 or more hours a week.
And though any competitor prefers to look forwards than backwards when it comes to accomplishments, it’s hard not to enjoy success.
“Eventually people will stop saying congratulations,” Lochhead said, “but it’s really cool.”
Skate Challenge Edmonton Alberta Dec 3-7, 2015
Leaders after the novice ice dance pattern dance:
1. Olivia Han / Grayson Lochhead (WO/OO) 25.59
2. Alicia Fabbri / Claudio Pietrantonio (QC) 25.32
3. Irina Galiyanova / Tommy Tang (CO) 25.08
On November 6-8th Olivia and Grayson competed and took 1st Place Novice Dance in Belle River (Lakeshore) at the Skate Canada Western Ontario Sectionals Championships which is a qualifying event for Skate Canada Challenge in Edmonton December 3-7, 2015, which is a qualifier for Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Halifax January 18-24, 2015. We wish you the best of Luck in Edmonton this December!
The Woodstock Skating Club is very proud to report on the success of one of our very own skaters, Grayson Lochhead and his partner Olivia Han
Here are Olivia and Grayson's outstanding results so far this season! Congratulations on your success!
Minto Summer Skate (Ottawa, ON) August 7 -9, 2015 Novice Dance - 1st place
Summer Skate (Thornhill, ON) August 13-16, 2015 Novice Dance - 1st Place
Ontario Autumn Skate (Ottawa, ON) and 2015 Skate Ontario Super Series Final October 2-4, 2015 Novice Dance - 1st Place Ontario Champions
2015 Octoberfest (Barrie, ON) October 13-18, 2015 Novice Dance - 2nd place
Canadian Tire National Championships - Jan 18-24 2016 Grayson Lochhead becomes Woodstock’s first figure skating national gold medalist. Congratulations to Grayson and his partner Olivia!