Golden Skate

Leung is Youngest on Canada's National Team

Vancouver's Mira Leung began figure skating when she was three.

Vancouver’s Mira Leung decided to skip novice and junior ladies and go straight into senior level competition at Canadians when she was just 13. She finished 14th in 2003 and returned in 2004 as a more seasoned competitor, finishing third in the qualifying round and the short program, sixth in the long and fifth overall at the age of 14 to make Canada’s National Team. “I thought it was a good skate,” she said. “I did everything I usually do.”

Leung began figure skating when she was three. “When my mom put me on the ice, I was like a fish in water,” Leung said. “I tried ballet and it was fun but I wanted to skate. I did try ice dancing in the test stream but not anything more.” Leung landed her first triple salchow and triple toe loop when she was only eight. “My favorites are the Lutz and the flip,” she said.

The petite skater has trained with Joanne McLeod in Vancouver for the last three years. “I do two sessions a day, six days a week,” she said. “Then I do stretching and plyometrics and ballet twice a week.” She has been doing a Biellmann spin since she was eight and added a Charlotte spiral last year. “I like both Michelle Kwan and Sasha Cohen,” she said. “I like Michelle for her flow, grace, artistry and consistency. I like Sasha because of her spins, spirals and speed.”

Last season, Leung used Heaven and Earth for the short and Stravinsky’s Firebird for the long. “I usually like bold music, but I like different varieties,” Leung said. “The long program is new this year, so next season we will change the short.” Leung said she puts in her own ideas about the choreography, but that McLeod designs the programs.

This season, Leung will be using the same long program as last season, but will be using Rachel’s Song by Vangelis and Viva by Bond for her short.

“Math is my favorite subject,” said Leung, who just completed the ninth grade. “And English because I like to read a lot. My interests change. Sometimes I like to read comedies, sometimes fantasy books. I like Brian Jacques and also Tolkien. I plan to go to university, but it will not be soon. Maybe when I’m a lot older. I haven’t decided yet what I want to do.”

Off ice, Leung said, “I like to watch television, play video games and go on the Internet whenever I can. I designed a web page once just for fun. I don’t watch movies often. I collect key chains from all of the places I’ve been and all the toys go to my room.” Of the places that she’s traveled, Leung liked Bled in Slovenia the best. “It was the closest to Vancouver overseas,” she said. “It had trees, mountains and a lake – a natural setting. But I really like Canada.”

Leung plans to be around for at least two Olympics. “I just hope to do my best on the ice and have a good skate,” she said. “I like skating because I like having new challenges and meeting them.” Leung has skated in one Junior Grand Prix event each year, but may not do any JGP events in 2004. “I was hoping for maybe some Senior Grand Prix instead, setting my goal higher,” she said. Having made the National Team, that goal is in sight.