19-year old ice-skater Kailani Craine is heading off for her first-ever Olympic Games. Making a name for herself in Australian national competitions and competing around the world, Kailani has been a real break-through talent in Australian figure skating. Now going up against the best of the best in figure skating at the ultimate competition, she’s set to have the experience of a lifetime.
Kidzone caught up with Kailani while she was preparing for the big event:
What inspired you to take up figure skating? I first started skating when I was eight years old. It was a really hot day, and I just decided to go into the ice rink for a public session. I had so much fun that I begged my family for ice skating lessons and I’ve been skating ever since! Watching Figure Skating at the 2010 Winter Olympics inspired me to train really hard to become an Olympian.
How often do you train? I train six days a week, for about four hours a day on the ice. After that I usually do some gym workouts.
What do you enjoy about figure skating? I absolutely love performing and having fun. I feel like I can really show my personality when I skate, especially in show performances. I enjoy making the audience smile when I skate, and designing new costumes is definitely an amazing part.
How does it feel when you finally nail a trick you’ve been working on? It feels amazing! Sometimes certain tricks can take a while to learn, which makes it even greater when you finally get it.
What is your favourite music to perform a routine to? Definitely something fun and fast. In figure skating, we perform two routines so I try to mix it up and have one fast routine and one slow routine. This year I have one fast routine that really shows my personality, it’s really quirky and I have so much fun performing it. My other routine is more dramatic and intense, which is also fun as it shows another style of my skating.
How do you stay cool under pressure? I worked hard this year on trying to control my nerves when competing. I train really hard which definitely makes it a lot easier when I go to competitions. I have also learnt to believe in myself and what I can do, but of course I still get nervous at every competition.
You’re about to fulfil a childhood ambition, what does it mean to you to be selected for the Winter Olympic Games? It still hasn’t sunk in yet that I am going to fulfil my dream of going to the Olympic Games. The Olympics has been my life-long dream and it is literally the only thing I have ever wanted. It feels completely crazy to know that I have achieved my goals. I’m so incredibly grateful for all of the support that I have been given, and for all of the sacrifices my family and I have made to get here. I think it just goes to show that if you really put your mind to something and work hard, you can achieve anything.
This is your first Olympics. What advice have you been given from team mates who have been to a Games before? Everyone that I have spoken to that has been to the Olympics before has told me to enjoy it because it is an experience like no other. All of my team mates always say how much fun I am going to have and that it will change my whole life.
What are you most looking forward to at the Olympics? I have always wanted to walk in the Opening Ceremony, so I really am looking forward to that moment the most. I think I might be so emotional before “Team Australia” is called out to walk, I most definitely will cry with joy!
What other events are you excited to see while at the Olympics? I really am excited to go and watch the snowboarding events, and also to go and cheer on as many of my Australian team mates as possible! Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!
Becoming really good at something isn’t always easy. It often means you have to give up other things. You might have to get up super-early to train before school, or go to coaching sessions Instead of watching YouTube or playing video games like your friends. It also often means your family have to give up their time, too, to take you to practice or lessons. If your family supports you as you follow your dreams to become a great musician, artist, athlete or whatever it is you want to be—don’ t forget to thank them! “I always remember you in my prayers and thank God for you,” (Ephesians chapter 1, verse 16).