Sat, Nov 11, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Windsor the first indigenous Aussie at Winter Games

AFP, SYDNEY

Figure skater Harley Windsor said it was “super-overwhelming” after he was named as Australia’s first indigenous Winter Olympian, capping an unlikely rise after he first took to the ice in Sydney.

Windsor and his partner, Russian-born Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya, got the nod for Pyeongchang after being crowned world junior champions last season, claiming Australia’s first global figure skating title.

Windsor, 21, and his 17-year-old partner do not even speak the same language, but they will represent Australia at the Games in South Korea in February next year — provided Alexandrovskaya receives her Australian citizenship in time.

“It’s a huge thing just making it to the Olympics and on top of that, being the first indigenous athlete is super-overwhelming — I couldn’t be more proud,” Windsor told reporters. “When we first started I didn’t expect we would show results so quickly, but we improved really, really fast.”

Windsor was considered too tall as a teenager to be a singles skater and his Russian coaches, keen to keep him in the sport, began a search for someone to be his partner in a pair.

They tracked down Moscow-based Alexandrovskaya, who had been overlooked by the Russian system and, after a trial, she agreed to switch countries.

“The Olympics was still very up in the air until this season, but we had a goal and we were training really well and halfway through the season the possibility became a reality,” Windsor said. “We have progressed a lot this year. We’re a lot more mature on the ice and we don’t look like a junior pair any more.”

Their coach Galina Pachin believes the pair can finish in the top 15 at their first Olympics.

This story has been viewed 1181 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top