RED DEER, Alberta – Had he not been such a fast runner, John Kim may have been the first figure skater in Canada Winter Games history to win gold wearing sweat pants.
The 12-year-old from Team Ontario overcame an “oops” moment Wednesday to score 63.11 in his free program and win pre-novice men’s gold with a 103.16 total score. Brendan Wong of Team B.C. was second at 96.40 while David Li, also from B.C., took bronze with 87.19 points.
Just minutes before he was set to compete, Kim, the reigning Canadian pre-novice men’s champion, realized he had forgotten his skating outfit in his dorm room, located close to the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. Kim took his on-ice warmup in sweat pants before making a mad dash to retrieve his outfit. He made it back to the rink about 15 minutes before his start time.
“I freaked out and told my coach, and I ran back so fast,” he said with a smile. “I was so tired when I came back. That was close.”
“It’s been a great year for me, something that I dreamed of,” added Kim, referring to his season. “It feels great, and all my teammates cheered for me, so it was pretty awesome.”
Michelle Deng of Alberta captured pre-novice women’s gold in her home province, winning with a combined score of 108.93 to edge out Quebec’s Sara-Maude Dupuis at 106.10. Audrey Carle of Ontario took bronze.
In pre-novice ice dance, Hailey Yu and Brendan Giang won gold with a 79.49 total, less than a point ahead of Team Alberta’s Grace Pelé and Joel Portz. The bronze went to Savanna Martel and Kobi Chant, also from Alberta and leaders after the short program.
“It’s really overwhelming and exciting at the same time,” said Yu. “I really enjoyed seeing Team B.C. cheering us on.”
“I’m glad that when we look at the B.C. medal count, we know we helped,” she added with a laugh.
“It was really exciting, and I’m thankful we could come here and show what we can do,” added Giang. “It was exciting but nerve-wracking.”
Canadian champions Lily Wilberforce and Aidan Wright of Team Ontario captured pre-novice pair gold, with a 52.71 free program and an 83.96 total. Charlotte Giraldeau and Eliott Goulet of Quebec won silver, followed by Ashlyn Schmitz and Tristan Taylor of Saskatchewan.
“We’re really happy with that outcome,” said Wilberforce. “We were really smooth. The twist was very good, just a little bobble.”
“Every time I looked at Lily, there was a smile on her face and it just reassured me everything was going to be fine,” said Wright.
The Special Olympics Men’s Level III event closed out the competition Wednesday. Emanuel Boulutfallah of Quebec won gold, followed by Nova Scotia’s Scott Denyes and Yukon’s Michael Sumner.
“I skated with all my heart and all my passion, and I hope the crowd enjoyed it,” said Boulutfallah. “It was such a fun time here.”
For competition results, visit the Canada Winter Games figure skating page.
Follow the conversation on social media by using the #CWG2019, #CGFigureSkating, and #ThisIsOurMoment hashtags.
UP NEXT: The figure skating competition at the Canada Games wraps up Thursday at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. The novice free dance leads off the day, followed by novice men, novice pair and Special Olympics Women’s Level III. The novice women’s free program wraps up the figure skating competition Thursday night. Live streaming begins at 13:50 PM MT/ 15:50 PM ET.