Figure skaters hoping for golden spins

Marie-Josée Potvin isn’t mincing words when it comes to pre-competition predictions.
“They have been working really, really hard and they’re going to kick butt,” said the local figure skating coach who will be overseeing 15 of the several dozen competitors from the Emo and Border clubs who will look to jump on the podium at an inter-club meet here Jan. 30-Feb. 1.
“They did really good at the earlier meet in Winnipeg and they’ve just kept working hard since then,” Potvin added.
“We increased the number of hours to be more competitive this year. They’re skating 12 hours a week, even the little ones,” she noted. “But they feed off that.”
About 200 skaters will descend on Fort Frances for the first regional meet here since 1997, which has been named “Northern Lights on Ice.” One of the best hopes from this area to earn a medal is Border Skating Club member Sarah McComb, who will compete in the Open division.
McComb, who holds three gold honours from previous test days and is in line at the next one to earn what Potvin claims would be an unprecedented fourth gold, plans to unveil a double axel jump at this weekend’s meet that she’s never used in competition before.
“My speed and my jumps are the best parts of my skating right now,” said McComb. “It’s the artistic part of my performance that needs improvement.”
Fellow club member Melanie Herr is glad the burdens associated with getting to the other meets on the competitive calendar won’t have to be dealt with this time around.
“It’s nice to know we don’t have to travel,” said Herr. “It’s also nice to skate in front of hometown fans on our own ice.”
Besides Fort Frances and Emo, the skaters will hail from Atikokan, Dryden, Eagle Lake, Ear Falls, Ignace, Keewatin, Kenora, Sioux Lookout, and Vermilion Bay.