A Bright Future at 16

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In honor of Canada Day yesterday, I want to dedicate my next celebrity post to Gabrielle Daleman, the youngest member of the Canadian Olympic Team that competed at Sochi 2014.

Tales of Ice

Like any other 16 year old, Gabrielle enjoys spending her down time hanging out with her brother, listening to music, watching movies and drawing.

Unlike any other 16 year old, Gabrielle is the future of Canadian figure skating, expertly gliding over ice for over 12 years now. She was first introduced to the sport at age 4 by her parents who enrolled her in CanSkate, a learn-to-skate program offered to beginners of any age. At first, she was not thrilled with the idea of skating. She would cry and desperately beg for weeks to avoid going out on the ice.

Now, she can’t get off. Her personal motto: “Play like you’re first, but train like you’re second,” has motivated her to take risks and master difficult tricks in order to get to where she wants to be. Her skating inspirations include Joannie Rochette, the first Canadian figure skater in 22 years to represent Canada on the podium during the 2010 Winters Games, as well as Kaetlyn Osmond, the two time Canadian National Champion. Daleman has stated that Kaetlyn’s triple-triple inspired her to learn how to master the move herself.

All the practice must have paid off because she was selected for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, an event (or better yet, an adventure) Gabrielle cites as her most memorable achievement. Since then, Gabrielle dedicated herself to the sport, spending 29 hours per week in training during the low season and 28 hours during the high season.

At her Olympic debut, she finished 17th and then came in 13th at her first ISU World Championships (International Skating Union), a month later. Some of her other accomplishments include a silver medal win at the Canadian championships in 2013 and the title of junior national champion one year prior. Now too bad for a 16-year-old, huh?