‘There were a lot of great skaters there, so I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I did it,’ says Grade 8 student who is Canada’s top pre-novice skater
Local figure skater Megan Woodley has been crowned Canada’s best female figure skater for her pre-novice age group after winning gold at Skate Canada’s National Challenge.
The 13-year-old Grade 8 Guthrie Public School student punched her ticket to the national competition last month by winning the Skate Ontario pre-novice ladies crown.
“It’s been a goal of mine to get to nationals, so to have it become a reality was really exciting,” Woodley said.
Ahead of the National Challenge in Regina, Woodley knew she would be up against fierce competition.
“There were a lot of great skaters there, so I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I did it,” she said.
“It’s really cool to be able to say I won nationals and for everyone to be excited for me. It’s a really cool experience.”
Woodley trains six days a week in Mississauga. In fact, she only goes to school for half days and doesn’t attend on Fridays due to her busy skate schedule.
“My teachers are really good with giving me the work beforehand and catching me up on everything I missed, so they make it really easy,” she said.
“My friends are also really supportive and send me what I miss in class.”
Woodley says living out her dream of being a competitive figure skater wouldn’t be possible without the support of her school, friends, family, and the community.
“It’s really great knowing that everyone is supporting and cheering for me when I’m not here with them, it means a lot,” she said.
The Barrie native started her skating career in Oro-Medonte when she was just three years old. Woodley developed a passion for the sport after watching Disney on Ice.
“I was originally on hockey skates, but when I saw Disney on Ice I decided that I wanted to be a figure skater. I did do gymnastics and dance when I was younger, but I choose to put all my focus into figure skating,” she explained.
When Woodley turned five-years-old, she moved her skating career to Orillia before making the jump to the Canadian Ice Academy in Mississauga.
“Orillia (was) a great place to start. My (Orillia Figure Skating Club) coach Tracey Zwiers taught me all the fundamentals and got me started with competitive skating,” she said.
At the Canadian Ice Academy, Woodley is taught by Andrew Evans, Paul Parkinson, Laurisa Wyant, Alex Sheldrick, Tigran Arakelyan, and Pavol Porac.
“I couldn’t have gotten to where I’m at now without the coaches there and the club,” she said.
Beyond coaching, Woodley says her work ethic is what has driven her to become so successful.
“If I want something I work until I get it. I put a lot of care into figure skating,” she said.
While Woodley has been one of the most successful figure skaters in the country for her age group, she says she has lots of room to improve.
“I’m a great jumper, I have really good edge work, but if something isn’t working I can be really hard on myself,” she said.
“When I’m trying to learn something new, I can be hard on myself; my coaches are helping me manage that a little better.”
Looking into the future, Woodley hopes to make it to Nationals again next year when the event will be held in Vancouver.
“I need to learn some new jumps, and I need to continue to work hard,” she said.
Woodley is hopeful that one day she will be standing on a podium with an Olympic gold medal around her neck.
As far as a future career, she either wants to become a figure skating coach or a kindergarten teacher.