They have their visas ready to flash and their routines set to dazzle.
Local figure skaters Larkyn Austman and Brianna Delmaestro will jet to one of the oldest capital cities in northern Europe on Monday with similar goals — to soak in the experience.
But they both go there with the intent to shine for Canada. The teens were selected to compete at the final Junior Grand Prix of 2013 next week in Tallinn, Estonia.
For Austman, the junior national champion will be making her international Grand Prix debut — and aims to build on her earlier successes.
“It was kind of nerve wracking waiting [to hear],” said the 15-year-old Coquitlam native. “They waited until the last moment to make the announcement, but I’m so happy to be going.”
Delmaestro joins ice dancing partner Timothy Lum at their second Grand Prix event in a handful of weeks. In mid-September the duo represented Canada in Poland and finished fifth.
“That was my first time in Europe and it was a real good experience,” remarked Delmaestro, 17. “There was a lot to absorb, but one of the first things I remember was the rink was really, really cold.”
Lining up against a slate of foreign competition, Delmaestro and Austman both are keeping expectations basic. The experience itself is a reward, while the competition will be a beneficial challenge, noted the Port Moody skater.
“We just want to do our best,” said Delmaestro.
That her and Lum have risen so quickly — after teaming up for the first time in competition in July — has surprised a number of people. The two have proven to be a good fit.
“No one really knew what to expect, but we just tried our best to get as good as we could together,” said Delmaestro, a member of the Coquitlam Skating Club who trains under the tutelage of Aaron Lowe and Megan Wing at Burnaby’s Centre of Excellence.
Austman noted although she isn’t completely recovered from an Achilles injury that stymied her during the summer skating sessions, her back is feeling better and she eagerly anticipates the cues to her short program on Thursday.
“I’m sure I’ll be nervous but I usually am nervous before the start of a competition, so that shouldn’t be any different,” the Dr. Charles Best student said. “It doesn’t deter me.”
Austman, who trains at Richmond’s Connaught Skating Club, said all her success as a junior rookie have given her a good foundation of what to expect.
“I didn’t expect much as a first-year junior so I was shocked to win my first event (the Skate Canada Challenge last December)… I don’t anticipate winning the (Grand Prix) but I’m going to make it a great experience.”
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