With Christmas just around the corner, most young boys are writing their wish lists for Santa, but one eight-year-old boy from Essex is only asking for one thing: more ice time.
Eight years old may seem young to be thinking of Olympics, but Jake Ellis has proven he is no ordinary skater. Ellis began figure skating at the age of two, under instruction from his mother, Kristi Ellis, a Skate Canada professional coach.
By the age of four, Ellis had competed in his first competition, and by age six he had proven he was talented enough to be on Western Ontario’s development team. The development team is a special stream of competition for young skaters who show a high potential and skill level for their age. Members attend private training camps and workshops throughout the province, as well as receive report cards and feedback at competitions.
“It would be wonderful and a dream if he ever did make it to the Olympics,” said Kristi. “I definitely can see that his heart is there and he’s got the big dreams.”
November 1st through the 3rd marked Ellis’ first appearance on the competitive circuit at Skate Canada’s Western Ontario Sectional Championships which were held in Niagara Falls. Being the youngest skater in the pre-juvenile category, Ellis still managed to capture the bronze medal with his two and a half minute solo and a score of 16.27 points.
“Jake was extremely excited to be at Sectionals this year,” said his coach of two years, Heather Barrette. “It’s definitely a different competition than the normal ones we attend.”
The last time Windsor-Essex had an athlete make an Olympic debut was back in 2010, when Ruthven’s Meghan Agosta proved her skill in hockey. She will soon appear in Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Ellis is years off from being eligible for the Olympics, as he must be 15 turning 16 in the year the Olympics are held.
Ellis is already able to land four of six double jumps and says he has attempted triples a few times, but would like to start working on them seriously in the upcoming year.
“My goal is at one of these competitions to have a clean skate,” said Ellis. “And the Olympics, competing.”