Congratulations to Hamish Gaman and Caitlin Yankowskas who were recently crowned Great British Pairs Champions at the British Figure Skating Championships in Sheffield. Read on for a personal blog from Hamish and Caitlin of their experience.
Writing to you as newly crowned Great Britain Pairs Champions, we wanted to share our wonderful experience we had the past two weeks! Starting with the National Championships in Sheffield. Second, with the international event Golden Spin held in Zagreb, Croatia!
What an amazing event the National Championships was. NISA provided not only a great schedule of practices and events, but they provided great feedback monitoring sessions afterwards as well. When our event was on, the crowd was warm and inviting, making us feel right at home and allowing us to skate our best. We skated confident programs and felt such pride to hold each other's hands out on the ice. As a fairly new team, skating to a gold medal finish felt beyond rewarding after months of practice and hard work. We were honoured to be crowned champions; especially considering it is the 100th year anniversary of the Pairs Trophy. Such a fantastic feeling! When the ceremonies were finished, we received great feedback from our coach and the judges. During our monitoring session we were able to take notes on what to enhance and tweak for the rest of our season. With our next competition only a few days away, we knew that we would have to stay on our planned course strategized by our coaching team and patiently wait to make any major changes until we flew back to Montreal to train.
Heading into Golden Spin in Zagreb Croatia, we felt excited to compete internationally as GBR champions. With no time to train between competitions and our coaches not able to attend Golden Spin with us, we knew we had to rely on our previous training and trust in each other in order to further improve on our performance in Sheffield. And we did just that! The pair event had nine teams in total, all seasoned international competitors. Practicing and competing against these great teams helped us to push harder and skate great. We skated to a 4th place finish overall with two great performances that made us both very proud. Our result at Golden Spin meant we finished 8th out of 31 qualifying teams in the ISU Challenger Series rankings. Relying on only each other during Golden Spin, we became an even more united team; our trust in each other unbreakable. On the last day, the organizing committee asked us to skate in the Gala. With this news being very last minute, we cut music and made up a program in only two hours before we performed it. The gala was televised for Croatian TV and the arena was almost sold out! The audience loved our program and we were ecstatic to be a part of such a tremendous event!
Overall the past two weeks competing were a great learning experience and a huge step in the right direction for us. They were filled with butterflies, joy, excitement, and happiness. Competing as a pair is always a fantastic adrenaline rush, but winning as a pair takes glory to another level. Two is better than one as they say! We can't wait to get back to training and continue to work hard. With patience and perseverance we can accomplish our goals and hopefully continue to make GBR proud. We look forward to our next event, the European Championship held in Stockholm, Sweden.