When Kailani Craine takes to the ice in the ladies single skating event at the Winter Olympics next week, she will have the whole of the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese behind her. Source: mnnews.today.
Ms Craine, who was born in Newcastle and graduated from St Francis Xavier’s College, Hamilton, in 2016, says making her Winter Olympics debut in Pyeongchang, South Korea, is a dream come true.
“It’s literally the only thing I’ve ever wanted in my life – to go to the Olympics.”
“I love skating. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Really, it’s just living a daily dream every day.”
For 19-year-old Ms Craine, who began skating aged eight, her love of figure skating was fostered through countless hours spent out on the ice.
“I just liked doing laps around the ice rink and trying harder things. I just enjoyed it, and I still do. I think that’s why I’ve been so successful and have gone so far quickly, because I just really enjoy what I do every day, and it doesn’t feel like a job at all.”
Her journey to become a prestigious athlete competing at the highest level was one marked by intense workouts and hours of practice. More than that, Ms Craine said, it was also mentally trying.
“Last season I couldn’t really understand why some competitions didn’t go how I wanted them to go, because I had put all the work in, and the practices were great,” she said.
“I changed a lot of things this year in my training to help me with that. I’m so much calmer; I think I’m just more mature, and I learn things every competition and every day in training.
“I think figure skating is all an experience game. Every year I feel better with competing, and I know how to handle my emotions. It’s learning to control how you feel, and stay present."