Figure skater Amanda Wright

Oak Bay skater to represent B.C.

Amanda Wright is the first Vancouver Island-based figure skater in seven years to make it through in a singles discipline

Amanda Wright can’t get enough of the ice.

She trains as a figure skater six days a week and on the one day she has off – the Oak Bay teen doesn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. Yet, when she has an early skate time, Wright’s up and ready to glide.

Even at school, the 17-year-old thinks about what she will do when she hits the rink again.

With that focus, it’s no surprise Wright will represent B.C. in the Skate Canada Challenge on Dec. 4 and 5 in Regina. She is the first Vancouver Island-based figure skater in seven years to make it through in a singles discipline. If she cracks the top 18 in Regina, Wright gets an invite to compete at Skate Canada’s junior National Championships in Ottawa, next January.

The self-proclaimed perfectionist says she’s surprised by her success, citing her performance at provincial sectional championships in Richmond earlier this month.

“I had a not so good short program. I came in eighth,” Wright said. “But it was very close, 1.7 (points) behind third. So I did not have a lot to make up for.”

In the long program, she didn’t fall, but “stepped out” while landing a triple toe. Thinking she would finish in fifth, she watched one-by-one as other skaters, who she perceived as being better than her, hit the rink. She ended up placing fourth overall snaring the final spot to represent B.C.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Wright said. “I almost started crying.”

Born in Oak Bay, the teen started skating at age two. By five she was figure skating, but then moved to Kelowna, where she didn’t skate as much. She moved back to Oak Bay with her family when she was 10 and started feeling a passion for the sport.

Jamie McGrigor started coaching Wright when she was 11. He calls her dedication and hard work impressive.

“Usually when we get kids when they are 11 or 12, they are usually pretty limited because so much development stuff happens prior to being eight-years-old,” McGrigor said. “Five versus 11, that’s six years of development and making sure everything is perfected. Amanda is really smart and a great skater, which is why she’s coming along.”

He added that Wright is the perfect figure skater to coach. She comes in early, wanting to skate and she does what she’s told on the rink.

Competition is fierce when trying to represent your province, McGrigor said. Each province can only send four skaters to the Skate Canada Challenge, which he said gives some provinces unfair advantage.

“Nova Scotia can send four skaters, but they have about 900,000 people in the province,” McGrigor said. “B.C. has 4.6 million and can only send four.

“It’s crazy competitive here.”

Wright’s mother and uncle were both figure skaters when they were younger, which may have influenced her passion for the sport. Both her parents work full-time so it’s her grandmother who drives her to every practice.

“Except on Thursdays because that’s when she curls,” Wright said with a laugh.

Besides school and skating, Wright also dances and squeezes in a social life which includes a younger sister who isn’t into figure skating but is into team sports – a concept Wright can’t understand.

“My big thing with skating is, I am a perfectionist. And it’s just me if I mess up,” Wright said. “On a team, if someone else messes up, I don’t think I can handle it. If it’s me, fine, I messed up. But someone else? No.”

Wright’s skating goal is to master all the triple jumps. She can currently land the triple toe, but she is working on mastering the triple loop, flip, and lutz.

Next year, because of her age, she enters a new category where she will have a shot at international competition.

The Grade 12 student is set to graduate next June and her career goal is to be an orthodontist.

She plans to keep skating.

“It makes me so sad to think that I have to quit someday,” Wright said. “I hope to go to school and compete next year. I think I’ll be able to do it.

“I know I can.”

Just Posted

Sensitive Santa brings patient holiday cheer to Tillicum Centre

Those who need more time with Santa can book a session ahead starting Nov. 19

B.C. mom, kids on bike turned away from Tim Hortons drive-thru

Car-free for years, Charity Millar ‘felt gross’ being denied service

The Salvation Army rings in Christmas Kettle Campaign in Victoria

Goal is to raise $250,000 this year for Vancouver Island residents needing support

Body found in Central Saanich waste recycling facility deemed non-suspicious

Coroners Service investigating circumstances of death

Saanich mom on a bike turned away in Tim Hortons drive-thru

Car-free for years, Charity Millar ‘felt gross’ being denied service

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

B.C. to advocate for frustrated, confused, unhappy cellphone users, says premier

Maple Ridge New Democrat Bob D’Eith to advocate for more affordable and transparent cellphone options

B.C. man who killed Belgian tourist near Boston Bar gets life in prison, no parole until 2042

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis

‘Very disrespectful’: B.C. first responder irked by motorists recording collisions on cellphones

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue deputy chief challenges motorists to break the habit

Daily cannabis linked to reduction in opioid use: B.C. researchers

Researchers looked at a group of 1,152 people in Vancouver who reported substance use and chronic pain

Port Alberni rallies for mill workers

Fundraisers helping ease the sting of five months without work

Island student lobbies school board for dress code consistency

Jaylene Kuo contacted school trustees after seeing dress guidelines at brother’s school

Most Read