North Vancouver's Emily Millard scores silver at figure skating junior nationals

North Vancouver’s Emily Millard scored big in her first shot at the junior women’s division at the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, winning silver at the event held last week in Mississauga.

The 15-year-old Handsworth student won bronze in the novice women’s division in 2019 but bumped up to silver after making the jump to junior this year.

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“It was an honour to be on the national junior podium and receive my medal from (retired world champion) Kaetlyn Osmond,” Millard told the North Shore News. “Moving up from novice to junior this year was a big step and I was working hard and training all year to be ready for this. … My parents and younger brothers were in the audience to watch. I have received so much support from my family, coaches, BC Skating volunteers, friends and teachers so I was happy to have a good result when it counted most.”

Millard was in fourth place following the short program but vaulted up to second place following her long program (click here to see Millard's long program - her performance begins at the 2:10:27 mark). She fell once in the short and once in the long, both times while attempting her most difficult jump, the triple lutz, but landed several more big jumps and combinations throughout her routines.

“I was frustrated that I fell on my triple lutz because I have been landing it consistently in practice, but I was proud that I didn’t let this mistake early in my program let me lose focus on delivering the rest of the elements in the program and giving a good performance for the audience,” she said.

Calgary’s Kaiya Ruiter finished first with a Canadian record total score of 174.83, followed by Millard at 143.31 at Ontario’s Kristina Ivanova at 142.73.

Millard trains with coach Joanne McLeod at the Champs International Skating Centre of B.C. in Burnaby. Known as a powerful athlete and jumper, Millard was pleased with the progress she made over the past year in the artistic side of the sport.

“I had a chance to watch the video commentary (from nationals) later in the day, and it was nice to hear some positive comments about my performance and expression,” she said. “This is an area that I have been working very hard on with my coach Joanne McLeod and choreographers this year based on the feedback that I received last year.”

Millard said she’s back at school this week catching up on homework, ready to get back into a normal training schedule to prepare for the 2020-21 skating season.

“I hope that I will earn another opportunity to represent Canada at an international competition this year,” she said.

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