Skater takes a spin at second Games

Oak Bay teen returns to second BC Winter Games competition

Oak Bay figure skater Kiara Jankowski heads for the BC Winter Games this week in Penticton.

Oak Bay figure skater Kiara Jankowski heads for the BC Winter Games this week in Penticton.

Kiara Jankowski isn’t overly concerned about the inconsistency of her triple salchow. Determined and confident, the 14-year-old plans to land it at this week’s BC Winter Games.

“You have to just go out there and do it and have confidence in yourself … lots of positive energy and determination,” says the Oak Bay High student.

Mom Linda Jankowski sees that as Kiara’s biggest strength: “She’s fearless, she goes for those jumps.”

Skating since age five, the teen continues her commitment to the sport because of the inherent challenges, athleticism and the empowering nature of landing a beautiful jump, like her triple salchow.

“I love to dance and I love being active and physical,” she says. “It’s amazing there’s a sport that combines them.”

Now in Grade 9, Kiara heads for her second bout at provincial competition; in 2012 she competed in the juvenile division. “It was cool to be on my own and independent for a competition,” she says.

This year she faces competitors in the pre-novice division where skaters perform a short and a long program. Kiara’s long program music is Cinderella, composed by Sergei Prokofiev, and her short a Gershwin broadway tune.

“It’s a flashier number where the long program is more graceful,” Linda says. “She’s getting more and more artistic as she gets older, bringing more beauty and, grace to the music.”

She recently finished first in regionals and continues to train six days a week and doing dance at Oak Bay High.

“Kiara has been working hard to prepare for this competition,” says coach Adrian Matei. “It is an accomplishment in itself to be invited to skate at the BC Games. She will be debuting her new long program. I just want her to enjoy the experience and skate well.”

BC Winter Games competition runs through Saturday in Penticton.

“If Kiara skates to the best of her ability she has a chance of placing in the top four at BC Games,” Matei says. “My goal for her at this competition is to skate a clean program.”

“To me the main focus is to go and be with other kids and have fun,” Linda says. “We want her to do well but … we just want her to have fun.”