Jordana McEachern achieved something not many figure skaters do — she passed four Skate Canada Gold medal tests.
Glengarry Skating Club coach Trevor Buttenham said some skaters are not good enough to achieve this, and others may decide not to pursue it.
“Especially at 14 years old, it’s pretty remarkable,” said Buttenham, who passed three during his skating career. “It’s good that she was able to put it all together.”
Putting it together in the summer gave McEachern a sense of accomplishment.
“I have been working for a lot of years on these tests. It has taken me a really long time and a lot of hard work to actually finish them,” said McEachern, 14, who started skating when she was about seven or eight.
McEachern said the journey to achieve that was fun, working with coaches and learning new dances and steps. She credited her coaches with refining her presentation and cleaning up her edges. She loves skating and enjoys the feeling when she has accomplished completing a jump or performing a technique properly.
“Now I can just focus on freeskate, can spend the start of practice doing spins instead of dances and skills,” she said.
Buttenham said that McEachern is a solid skater and really coachable. Buttenham describes McEachern as having a quiet determination. She sets goals and picks away at them with the help of the coaches.
McEachern enters this season in her first year of pre-novice, where Buttenham expects her to finish in the middle of among 50 skaters. It is rare for McEachern to put in a bad performance in competition, though he said she has always had one thing go sideways against her.
McEachern’s long term goal is to qualify for the Olympics. However, to reach the ultimate level, Buttenham said it is about taking “micro steps”. Buttenham said to reach the Olympics it takes the right amount of raw talent, determination and work ethic.
“Does she have the mixture? I don’t know if she has the mixture to get to the worlds or Olympic level,” he said. “She has the ability to get to a Canadian championship level. She has the raw talent to get to that level. Things have to fall into place.”
Over the summer she worked on her double axel and Buttenham said if she is able to land that, it will go a long way in bringing her success. The coming season is about qualifying for Challenge, which is the Canadian Championship at the pre-novice level.