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Peter O’Brien earns silver at Canadian Figure Skating Championships

Peter O’Brien’s passionate and dramatic Dracula soundtrack free skate won him a loud ovation from the crowd and a silver medal at last week’s Junior Men’s Canadian Figure Skating Championships in Moncton, New Brunswick.
“When I hear the crowd responding to an element I’ve done well, it gives me a confidence boost and that extra push from the audience really helps me to keep performing at my best.”
Prince Edward County’s favourite skater earned a personal best at the competition and was just .78 points away from the national title. He was also one step higher on the podium than last year’s bronze medal effort.
Mitchell Gordon, of British Columbia, came from behind to take the gold, while Joel Bond, of Barrie, won the bronze.
After the short program, less than a point separated Bond, who was in first place, and O’Brien in second, going into the free skate. O’Brien included a more difficult combination than Bond, a triple salchow-triple toe loop – and though he fell on the second jump, his entire ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ program was solid, including a superbly executed triple Lutz. O’Brien was also praised for paying close attention to his expression and choreography.
After a hugely successful season – including a competition in Detroit in July, the International Junior Grand Prix circuit event in Romania in September, and the Skate Canada Eastern Western Challenge in Regina in December – O’Brien is looking forward to a bit of a rest, and to catch up on school work.
“I am actually really excited to take a few weeks off. This year was really intense – fun, and exhausting – handling all the expectations and the pressures of competition,” he said. “I will focus on school, then begin working on new elements like quads and the triple axel because the big goal is that I’m determined to skate in the senior level next year. To be competitive at that level I’m going to work on the acquisition of higher level skills.”
O’Brien trains and skates in Montreal with coach Eric Therrien. A typical day involves three to four hours of skating and another three to four hours of off-ice training during a week.
The result, however, shines in a silver medal and in the enthusiasm of the well-spoken teenager.
“I really am thrilled about it,” he said. “I trained really hard all season because I knew the intensity of what I was facing and I worked on how to manage the pressure of really intense competition, the pressure and the whole atmosphere of competition. As a result, I was really prepared going in and I felt confident.”
Reaching medal-winning status has meant studying, training and living away from home. O’Brien finished Grade 9 at Centennial in Belleville, and moved the following summer. He keeps in touch with his Ameliasburgh family through visits, telephone calls and social media and his parents, Steve and Catherine O’Brien, travel to meets whenever they can.
“We are very proud,” Steve says. “Peter trains really hard and is able to handle the pressure of some very high expectations. His goal this year was to be on the podium again. Now he’ll be moving up and working toward the next phase, the senior’s level, with longer and more difficult skates.”
“The travel allows me to meet so many great people and see so many great places,” Peter adds. “It also benefits me as a human, offering so many terrific life experiences.”
Peter’s coaches tease him about being a late bloomer since he first took to the ice with the Prince Edward Figure Skating Club at the age of eight.
“I have a Nike t-shirt I wear that says ‘Born to Skate’ and even though I started late, my coaches say I was meant to skate. Skating completes me and it is a nice way to channel my life.”
And while the jump from junior to senior is a major one, O’Brien is welcoming the challenge and “looking forward to it.”

Short Program
Free Program
Medals

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  1. Big hugs from all of us at your home club!!! We love you Pete. Great article!
    ~ Stirling Figure Skating Club

  2. Emily Todd and family says:

    Yay Peter!! We love love love to see you shine!

  3. Lori Smith says:

    Congratulations!

  4. Doris Lane says:

    Remembering Peter with great fondness. he was a very special student at Athol school. congratulations Peter and all the best in your future endeavours.

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