Emily Walzak remembers what prompted her to look at figure skating as an athletic endeavour.
“I got inspired by watching the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler,” she said. “I liked the ice dancing, especially (Canada’s) Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.”
Walzak, 25, who only picked up the sport four years ago, skates at this week’s B.C. Winter Games in Penticton in the Level 3 women’s freeskate event of the Special Olympics category.
The View Royal resident has been a fast learner, having taken lessons for two only years before diving into competition.
She took a silver medal at the Special Olympics provincial games in Kamloops last year and finished fifth in the Canada Winter Games in Prince George.
“My main goal is always to skate better than I did the time before,” she said.
That last competition would be the Vancouver Island Regional Championships at The Q Centre, where Walzak earned another silver medal.
This week she’ll skate to music from the Romeo and Juliet ballet, and she expects to have a shot at doing well again.
She admits that she’ll probably feel nervous stepping on the ice, but said, “I think it’s more adrenalin.”
It always helps to visualize her routine, she added. “I know I can do it. The training is there.”
Off the ice, she looks forward to meeting different athletes and making some new friends in Penticton, as a part of the Vancouver Island-Central Coast team.