Sibling skaters finish second at nationals; Duo hope to compete at 2018 Winter Olympic
Siblings Melinda and Andrew Meng skated away with silver at the Canadian Skating Championships, held last month.
The brother-sister duo are planning to carry the momentum forward, spending the next four years training to represent Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics, scheduled to take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
“Our long term dream/goal is to go to the Olympics and win gold for Canada,” said Melinda, 14.
Performing with Andrew, 17, adds a level of ease to training and performing because the two know each other so well.
“For me, performing with my brother is really reassuring because I’m comfortable around him,” said Melinda.
“As a brother-sister team all of our fees are doubled compared to other non-sibling teams, so the bills tend to stack up,” she said.
The two have a goal to raise $10,000 to help fund their dream of performing in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
“We are very thankful for all the help we have received over the years and are very grateful for any additional support,” said Melinda.
The Mengs – originally from Kanata Lakes – represented the Laval skating club at the Canadian Skating Championships, where they competed in the junior ice dance category. “I had an amazing experience this year competing at the national championships. I felt we put out two really solid performances and I was really surprised and happy with our results,” said Melinda. “We got to skate against some amazing competitors and had a lot of fun with the other skaters. Everyone was really supportive and the cheering was pretty loud.”
The two performed a short dance – a mix of the foxtrot and quickstep to the Pink Panther theme song and It Don’t Mean a Thing – as well as a free dance.
“Our free dance had an Asian theme and was to music from House of Flying Daggers and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon,” said Melinda. “I am really thrilled with our silver medal. We had a pretty rough start to the season and I honestly didn’t expect to finish our season so well, so it was an awesome surprise.”
Although now representing a Montreal skating club, the two started their skating careers with the March Kanata Skating Club.
“I learned how to skate because our parents thought it was important to get lots of physical activity so they put us in pretty much everything to learn basics, like skating and swimming,” said Melinda, who started lessons at age three.
“One of the things I love about skating is how competitive it is. Everyone is trying to be better than everybody else; gain the advantage. I tend to enjoy a competitive atmosphere, be it at school or at the rink, because it really pushes me to be better than I might have thought possible.”
Before moving to Montreal, the Mengs also competed with the Nepean Skating Club and the Rideau Lakes Figure Skating Club.
“We are currently training in Montreal because it is easier to co-ordinate school and skating and make schedules that aren’t completely insane. We also found a coaching team based in Montreal that we enjoy working with where we have gotten good results,” she said. “Right now we have a bit of down time before we start to prepare for the next year and start choreographing new routines.” After some time off, Melinda and Andrew will be working towards their next goals: a spot in the Junior Grand Prix Final and a chance to compete in the junior worlds.
Comments from Andrew, 17, were unavailable as of the Kourier-Standard’s deadline.
For more information about Melinda and Andrew, or to donate to their training, visit gofundme.com/3r5ojs.