Classy Colthorp chases skate trifecta

Mckenna Colthrop of Fort St. James will compete in figure skating at the 2015 winter games.

Mekenna Colthorp 13

Athlete Mckenna Colthorp 13,  dreams of standing on the podium at the 2015 Canada Winter Games (CWG). A dream that may soon become a reality as the national figure-skating sensation has already proven her talent winning gold at both the 2014 BC Winter Games and 2014 Arctic Winter Games. After recently being chosen to skate for Team BC, I just can’t stop thinking about a third gold medal, Mckenna said.  “I don’t think anything is impossible. If you believe in yourself you can do whatever you want,” said Mckenna with a humbling enthusiasm. “Prince George is so close to Fort St. James it feels like I’m competing on home ice. It’s such an honour to be part of [this year’s] games.”

Mckenna competes as a novice figure skater – under 17- and will be one of the youngest competitors at the CWG. Known for her strength and poise, she is able to execute all jumps up to a triple loop including a triple salchow and triple toe. She trains 17 hours a day at the CNC Centre in Kelowna, BC in both on-ice and weight-room training. Her private ballet lessons help with posture and flexibility.

“I feel like I have a good work ethic and I’m not afraid of trying new things,” Mckenna said. “When I’m going through the air I’m calm because I trust my training.”

Mckenna was born in Fort St. James and at the age of five started traveling for summer skating school to Kelowna where she trains with coaches Karen and Jason Mongrain, a powerhouse training team who will be with Mckenna throughout her winter games experience.  When it came time to advance her skating career it only made sense for her to move to  Kelowna where she now lives.

“She definitely showed talent even at that young age which was just the start,” Mr. Mongrain said. “She is a phenomenal athlete, an explosive jumper and very coordinated which are traits that serve you well in competitive figure skating.  She just has a grace about her that is great in combination with her sheer power.”

Mckenna started skating at the age of three with the Stuart Lake Skating Club in Fort St. James with coach Lisa Bystrom. When she was nine, the Colthorp family moved to Grand Prairie, Alberta where Mckenna skated with the Grand Prairie Skating Club with coach Ashley Spry for four years.

It was in Grand Prairie Mckenna won her first provincial title and became Alberta’s Pre-Juvenile Champion. At 11-years-old she represented Team Alberta North in Ladies 3 at the Arctic Winter Games in White Horse and won three gold medals. She has since competed in numerous competitions including sectionals in Prince George in November 2014 and become BC’s Novice Provincial Champion.

That event qualified her to skate in Montreal at the Skate Canada Challenge in December 2014 where she competed among the top skaters in Canada. The goal was to place in top 18 to move on to nationals in Kinston, Ontario. She finished 8th and recently skated on National Ice in Kingston where she had a strong free program skate finishing with the 2nd highest score. Her overall total put her 4th in the competition- less than half a point from a medal.

“It was an amazing experience,” Mckenna said.  “To leave being ranked 4th in the entire country was unreal.”

Although costume has little to do with her athletic ability, Mckenna has two fully custom dresses. Her green short-program dress is made by Laura Carr of Kelowna and her fuchsia long-program dress is made by Annette Yanishewski of Grand Prairie. Her foot attire is also special being world-level Adidas skates shipped from Italy with special Matrix Elite blades – a much lighter skate.

But what makes Mckenna such a great figure skater is her artistry, Ms. Mongrain said, Mckenna’s coach and coach for Team BC.

“Mckenna is extremely co-ordinated and has a lot of good performing qualities. Some skaters are pigeon holed as being a good jumper or spinner but Mckenna is more well rounded, able to land even the toughest jumps.” Ms. Mongrain said.

Mckenna’s goal for next season is to compete internationally and land the triple flip and triple lutz, maybe even in time for the winter games.

“My goal at the games is to have a personal best skate and bring home a gold medal,” Mckenna said. “Any medal would be great but I’d really like the gold.”

CWG figure-skating events will showcase two levels with four disciplines. Mckenna will compete against 15 competitors in both short and long programs from Feb. 23-26. For more information on scheduling or events, visit www.canadagames2015.ca

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

Community engagement process launched to implement northern B.C. First Nation’s rights and title

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

External community engagement process launched to help implement Wet’suwet’en rights and title

Update: Accident on Highway 16 causes power outage in Vanderhoof

397 customers still without electricity as of 4:25 p.m. on Aug 13.

Route announced for the Great Regional Air Hug of 2020

Aircraft will be departing from the Vanderhoof Municipal Airport at 12 p.m. on Aug. 15

“Let’s break the silence because we can”

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s awareness walk held Saturday in Fort St. James

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Most Read