Photo by Don Fennell
Soft spoken and articulate, Annie Lin sports a quiet confidence in advance of next week’s International Skating Union Junior Grand Prix in Richmond.
“I’m excited for the competition because it’s here where I train, but I’m also a bit nervous because I’ll be competing in front of a lot of people I know,” says Lin, a member of the local Connaught Skating Club who will represent Chinese Taipei in the competition that begins Wednesday at Minoru Arenas.
Lin, 15, is “very proud” to be skating for Chinese Taipei, explaining that figure skating has become much more popular there in the last few years. She started skating for fun about the age of five, but not seriously until she was 10. That’s when she first met her current coach Keegan Murphy.
“I first came to Connaught about five years ago, but I was just visiting during the summer so it was a short training period,” she explains, adding she owes a great deal to her parents who are her biggest supporters.
Now attending Richmond High, Lin has made great strides and hopes to have a long and rewarding skating career.
“I hope I can do well in the Junior Grand Prix series this year and maybe qualify for junior worlds (next March in Croatia),” she says.
A natural performer, Lin’s artistic talents off the ice complement those on it. Away from the rink, she plays the piano and flute and also likes to write and dance.
“I like to perform with the music and in front of an audience,” she says, adding her goal in the junior grand prix is to skate clean while executing all her jumps and spins.
“I think I’m pretty well prepared,” says Lin, who looks up to two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu not only because of his success but also his work ethic.
Next week’s junior grand prix will mark the second time Lin will have competed at the international level, and coach Murphy believes having a bit more perspective will serve her well.
“Getting to compete at this level at home is a dream for any young athlete,” says Murphy. “And I’m so happy her family and friends are all going to be here to watch her skate.”
The current men’s singles figure skating champion of Thailand, Micah Lynette will represent both Connaught and Thailand, at the junior grand prix. Residing in Bellingham, Washington, he comes up to Richmond almost daily to train.
“Both have dealt with difficult challenges over the last year, including just being teenagers. But in the last couple of months (they) have put everything they can into training intelligently and being responsible away from the rink,” Murphy says. “I believe they can now go out knowing, ‘Okay, I can do this.’ I’m hoping this will be a week they’ll both look back on as really something special.”
Hosted by Skate Canada, the junior grand prix is from Wednesday, Sept. 12 through Saturday, Sept. 15.