By Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative
A Ridgetown, Ontario native is skating her way up the world rankings.
Alyssa Robinson of Ridgetown and ice dance partner Jacob Portz of Calgary finished in seventh place on the ISU Junior Grand Prix figure skating circuit recently in Ljubljana, Slovenia. This was the fifth event in a seven-part series of international competitions where the world’s best junior couples compete across Europe and the globe.
Robinson and Portz of the Calalta Figure Skating Club of Calgary, who are in their second year together, made an impressive climb in the standings with their free dance jumping from 11th to seventh overall with 132.09 in their Junior Grand Prix debut.
“The COVID pandemic made athletes’ lives challenging for so many reasons,” stated Robinson. “Starting a new partnership was especially difficult but has made the path to where we are now certainly more rewarding!”
The pair both enjoyed the experience in Ljubljana.
“Jake and I had a great experience competing at our first international competition together in Ljubljana,” she stated. “We are so thankful to Skate Canada for the opportunity to represent our country as well as all of the support we have received from Skate Alberta and Calalta FSC. We fulfilled our goal of surpassing the scores we achieved domestically and learned a lot about what we need to do to be competitive with the best in Canada as well as internationally. Jake and I are really happy with our personal best score in the free dance, however looking at our scoresheets, there is plenty of room for improvement in both programs. We are excited to improve and work towards more goals in the coming season.”
Robinson and Portz were named to the 2021 Skate Canada Nextgen team this past June, an impressive feat considering they have only been skating together for just over a year. The few selected skaters from across the country are provided essential support to further their athletic goals whilst developing and nurturing the plethora of skills required to be among the best domestically, as well as on the global stage where Canada has excelled for many years.