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Kerry keen on second Olympic campaign

4 November 2016

FIGURE SKATING: 15 months out from the 2018 Winter Olympics, figure skater Brendan Kerry isn’t concentrating on a particular score or podium finish it’s all about being the best version of himself.

“Giving myself an Olympic experience I can be really proud of” is how the 2014 Olympian describes his goal for the PyeongChang Games.

“I don't want to be focusing on a score or place this far out.

“In my mind my goal and focus is to skate two clean programs and do the absolute best that I can, not just on the day but that I am capable of.”

The Sydney-sider’s first task is to qualify himself for his second Olympic campaign which would no doubt be an impressive feat at just 21-years-old.

“World Championships is the qualifying event and is where most of my focus is,” said Kerry.

“The events I have leading up to this are for experience, reputation and to help my world ranking.

Hopeful that a string of recent personal bests will all help solidify a spot at his fourth World Championships, Kerry said he couldn’t remember a time where he wasn’t on the ice.

“I have always just gotten on and skated,” said Kerry who’s journey to the Games started with a different type of skates.

“I watched a competition in 2003 and decided to switch to Figure skates from Hockey skates and go to my first nationals the next year.”

Inspired by his own mother, who represented Australia at the 1988 Calgary Games, Kerry said he never quite understood that enormity of his mum being an Olympian.

“I didn't really appreciate my mum’s achievements such as being an Olympian and what not until I was older and on the circuit so I realised just how much it took to achieve that level of sport.”

Kerry made his debut on the ISU Junior Grand Prix as a 14-year-old in 2008 and claimed the Australian Junior title in the following year.

In 2011, the youngster made his senior international debut and claimed his first open Australian national title giving him the chance to compete at his first World Championships at just 17.

But it was his Sochi qualification that proved he deserved his senior status at such a young age, as he finished 12th at the Nebelhorn Trophy/Olympic Qualifying Event in Oberstdorf, Germany, while skating with a broken wrist.

This performance booked Kerry a spot on the Australian Winter Olympic Team, which felt like something out of a dream for the teenager.

“It was unreal when I found out I qualified.

“It took a while to really sink in that I had actually qualified for the Olympic Winter Games.”

Kerry finished in 29th place in Sochi, narrowly missing out on advancing to the final segment.

Despite a slightly disappointing result, Kerry came away from the Games full of experience and determination to continue to improve.

“From my past Olympic experience I learnt that you can't take the experience for granted and that it’s not about having miracle skates it’s about putting in the effort every single day no matter what.”

Since his Olympic debut Kerry has continued to improve, recording a new personal best at the 2016 World Championships in Boston, MA, USA, finishing in 17th place.

Shortly after Kerry placed second in the short and first in the free to win the gold medal at Gardena Spring Trophy 2016 in Egna, Italy, setting two more ISU personal bests (short program and total combined score.)

“This season has had its ups and downs but overall is going in a direction I’m happy with that I think will help me move forward and help me to qualify a spot for the 2018 Games.

Kerry’s Olympic preparation will now focus on the World Figure Skating Championships which will be held in Helsinki, Finland in March.

Ashleigh Knight
Olympics.com.au

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