Karlee MacMillan (centre), 14, of the Sylvan Lake Figure Skating Club on podium as the 2019 Silver Triathlon gold medalist at the STARSkate and Adult Championships in March. Photo Submitted.

Sylvan Lake skater receives Cherniawski STARSkate Award

“It’s something I never wanna quit,” says Karlee MacMillan, 2019 STARSkate Championships gold medalist

The reigning STARSkate and Adult Championships Silver Triathlon gold medalist is a local figure skater.

Karlee MacMillan, 14, of the Sylvan Lake Figure Skating Club won the overall event championships in March.

Landing at the top of the triathlon podium lead to MacMillan receiving the Cherniawski STARSkate Award at the Skate Canada: Alberta-Northwest Territories/Nunavut ACGM and Awards Banquet.

MacMillan was presented with the award, as well as a bursary, at the banquet in Banff May 4.

“I was very nervous to walk up there,” said MacMillan of accepting the award. “There was a lot of people watching and I can be very clumsy at times.”

Overall, she said there was “good energy” in the room at the banquet and everyone was positive.

“We had skaters who were from the competitive side and we had coaches who had been coaching for like 50 years, 25 years, and board members and they were all pretty happy to see all the young skaters who were up and coming,” added MacMillan.

MacMillan had received this award about two years ago, but says accepting the award this time was different.

She says this time was “a lot more special” because of the higher level of competition and her programs needed more complicated elements.

“It was tricky… the girls were very good who I was competing against, so kind of made that a little but more difficult for me,” MacMillan said, adding it takes a lot of work to get to that point because you have to be at the top of your category throughout the competition.

“You never know who you are competing against and the girls I was competing against, they were amazing,… and the friendship you develop within [the competition] it’s nice,” explained MacMillan.

The triathlon event, which is unique to the STARSkate Championships, consists of three separate programs: free skate, interpretive and skills.

In other competitions MacMillan sticks to free skate and interpretive programs, with the free skate being her favourite.

“I really think that for me it’s the jumps. I’m a jumper,” said MacMillan of why she loves the free skate programs. “I like to be up in the air and I’ve learned how to make them work for me.”

“There’s something about jumping up and being high off the ice and it feels more impressive to me.”

MacMillan has been skating for about 11 years and loves the sport with all her heart.

She hopes to find herself back at the Alberta Winter Games in the future, accomplish her diamond dances and land a few triples.

Additionally, MacMillan could see herself pursuing a competitive career in figure skating.

“It’s something I never wanna quit,” said MacMillan. “Even when I’m like 80 I’ll probably still be out there, obviously not doing the same things I’m doing now…, but I’ll still be out there doing my thing.”

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Karlee MacMillan receiving the Cherniawski STARSkate Award at the Skate Canada: Alberta-Northwest Territories/Nunavut ACGM and Awards Banquet in Banff May 4. Photo Submitted.

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