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Capponi's climb not without sacrifice

17 February 2017

LONG TRACK SPEED SKATING: Asian Winter Games athlete Josh Capponi was 18 when he relocated to Holland to further pursue his speed skating ambitions. His parents thought he would stay for six months. That was four years ago.

“I’ve only been home 14 weeks in three years, but I’m used to it now,” Capponi said.

“I live with (Australian skater) Daniel Greig and two Dutch girls so we’ve kind of got our own little family.”

Life in Holland has been a big adjustment for the young Western Australian who has also had to overcome language barriers.

“I didn’t really learn the language at first but in the last two years I’ve picked a lot up. I can understand almost everything and speak Dutch if I need to.”

With World Championships’ and now the Asian Winter Games under his belt, Capponi is etching closer to his ultimate goal of representing Australia at the Olympic Games.

“I’m definitely going in a good direction and I think I’m pretty close. I’m on that edge where you either make it or you don’t.

“Hopefully my name is on that list in 10 months time.”

The emerging skater will compete in the 5,000m and 10,000m events and sees the Asian Winter Games as a good dress rehearsal for the Olympics.

“Pretty awesome to be here,” he said. “The Asians are pretty strong with ice skating especially in long distance and that’s my focus.

“It’s nice to be here and I really like Japan so that’s also good."

Capponi is Australia’s sole representative in the Asian Winter Games Speed Skating competition. His first event, the 5,000m, is on Monday 22 February.

Michelle Cook 

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