Nico Conforti, 13, at the provincial Star Skate final in Kelowna where he placed third for pre-juvenile men. (Oak Bay Figure Skating Club)

Oak Bay figure skaters reach podium

A pair of athletes from Oak Bay Figure Skating Club made it onto the podium at the provincial level last month with the biggest results of their teenage careers.

Nico Conforti, 13, was third in the pre-juvenile men’s category at the Star Skate Final held in Kelowna two weeks ago. Andy Chen, 16, took silver in the pre-novice men’s at the BC Winter Games.

The sheer amount of training and Conforti’s time on the ice paid off as he was able to quickly find his groove, said his coach.

“I thought Nico did really well because he had a terrible warm-up but pulled himself together and skated a really strong program,” said the club’s director of skating, Jamie McGrigor, who has been with the club 16 years.

Andy Chen, left, on the podium at B.C. Winter Games in Fort St. John where he won silver in the pre-novice men’s catetory. (Oak Bay Figure Skating Club Photo)

READ MORE: Slideshow: Oak Bay Figure Skating club hosts Canada 150 skate

It was an equally impressive medal for Chen, winning silver medal at the prestigious B.C. Winter Games in Fort St. John, which happens every two years.

“It’s the biggest achievement so far for both of them and there’s hopefully more to come,” McGrigor said.

At this point there is no ceiling for Conforti and Chen for several reasons, McGrigor added. For one, they are boys, which opens the door for skating as a pair by partnering with a woman. Now that they’ve earned some pedigree it at the provincial level it will help.

They have also made a case to continue on as single skaters.

“They both work very hard and train a lot, and Conforti’s mom is a coach so he’s here on the ice a lot,” McGrigor said.

Off the ice both are accomplished in extracurricular activities, Chen as a high-level piano player and Conforti in taekwondo.

“They had to basically do well all season to get to these two competitions,” McGrirgor said. “If they keep skating there is lots of opportunities for them.”

Next up was the Super Series competition in Parksville next month which, under normal circumstances, would have been considered the first competition of the year.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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