When she jumps, she feels like she’s flying. It’s one of the reasons local athlete Kaitlyn Brushey loves figure skating.
The 15-year-old Huntsville High School student has been skating since she was two-and-a-half years old. She started skating because her brother was enrolled in lessons, but by the time she was eight she knew it was what she wanted to do.
She now skates six days a week, four of them in Huntsville, two in Orillia, perfecting her skills and advancing to higher and higher levels. Her hard work has been paying off.
In November, she won bronze in the Pre-Novice Women category at the Skate Ontario Sectional Invitational in Oakville. It was the last time Kaitlyn planned to perform that particular solo. “I was calm and just tried to do the best that I know how to do,” she said.
She has also been to the Skate Ontario provincial championships several times.
Kaitlyn’s now working on a new solo, and her goal is to land a triple jump. It hasn’t happened yet, but she’s confident that it will.
She looks to Canadian skater Kaetlyn Osmond, the women’s singles world figure skating champion and an Olympic bronze medallist, as well as Canadian ice dancers and Olympic gold medallists, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, for inspiration. “I just love their motivation and their confidence,” said Kaitlyn.
Kaitlyn has six coaches helping her achieve her goals, including her main coach Christine Mantle-Marnoch at the Huntsville Skating Club. Kaitlyn said that the club is like family. “We’re all supportive of each other. It’s one big team, even though it’s an individual sport.”
And her family has been supportive too, although her brother “thinks I’m a little crazy,” she said with a laugh.
Kaitlyn’s long-term goals are to compete at a national level and to one day become a coach so that she can “help others enjoy it as much as I do.” She already encourages younger skaters as a program assistant for the CanSkate program in Huntsville and recommends that anyone who wants to be involved in an on-ice sport to start with that program to learn the fundamentals of skating.
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