Kharis Ralph, 19, and her partner Asher Hill, 20, are training hard to compete in the 2012 world figure skating championships in France next month.
The figure skating dance team from Scarboro Figure Skating Club placed fourth in the national championships. This qualified them for the world championships because Paul Poirier and Piper Gilles, also from the same club in Scarborough came in third in the nationals. Gilles is not able to represent Canada until next year because she previously represented the United States.
“We were both ecstatic. It was our goal this season to be part of the world team and we were happy to accomplish it,” Ralph said.
Their coach, Carol Lane, is also happy for them.
“It takes a lot of hard work and dedication,” Lane said. “It’s nice to see that rewarded.”
The pair skate six times a week for four-and-a-half to five hours each time to prepare for the championships.
“They are absolutely ready, super well-trained. There is no question they are ready to go,” Lane said.
Ralph began skating when she was six, Hill when he was four. They have been skating together since 2002.
Each has different reasons why they started skating.
“My mum thought that as a Canadian, I should learn how to skate,” Ralph said.
“My twin sister, Acacia started skating and my mother felt that as twins we should do the same thing,” Hill said. “I absolutely hated it, but here I am now getting ready to compete at the world championships.”
Their goal for the world championships is to place well enough so Canada can keep its three spots for the worlds next year.
The pair also has some larger goals in mind for the future.
“We would really like to medal at Nationals and a Grand Prix, represent Canada at more ISU championships and the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia,” Ralph said.