Golden Skate

Fully recovered, Firus readies for new season

Liam Firus

Liam Firus of Canada performs his short program at COS Summer Skate 2014.

Canada’s Liam Firus will be competing in his first international competition of the season later this month at Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany.

“There are some great skaters competing there, and I want to contend with them,” he said. “I hope to place in the top five. Mostly, I want to have clean and energetic skates with a good triple Axel and quad toe.”

Last season, Firus’ training was delayed due to a groin injury. The choreography of both programs was quickly done after nationals in 2013 for the Olympic year, and then the skater took five months off in order to heal. In 2014, he finished third at nationals, earning a spot on the Olympic team where he finished 28th.

“The Olympics were tough, but they taught me a lot,” admitted the 22-year-old. “Taking the positive out of it, I can only go up from my performance and plan to use it as motivation for this season. The love and support shown through Canadians that came in through social media and emails was something I’ll never forget.”

Firus has now had a full year training under Christy Krall in Colorado Springs, Colo., and his main goal this season is to make the world team.

“I’m really excited to see how training full time will help,” said the skater, who is now injury-free. “Last year, I didn’t get to start training until September. Being able to skate this spring has made training more comfortable and I don’t feel like I’m playing ‘catchup.'”

Each season, the Canadian tries to improve and grow in terms of program component scores.

“Being a perfectionist, I’m obsessed with little details,” noted Firus. “There’s always something to be improved on in that area in my opinion.”

The skater has also been focusing on the efficiency of his skating, and trying to cover more ice with less pushing.

“I’m trying to improve the speed coming out of my jumps to improve the GoE (Grade of Execution),” said Firus. “I’m working on allowing each element to transition easily and more free.”

Earlier this summer, the Canadian bronze medalist competed at the Thornhill Summer Skate where he debuted his new long program to music from Moulin Rouge.

“It went well!” he said. “The plan was to go out and just skate both programs and get comfortable on the ice.”

The new “dramatic and bold” long received positive feedback from the judges, and Firus is taking advantage of the new rule which allows skaters to incorporate lyrics into their programs.

The skater from North Vancouver is keeping his short program from last year to “Fascination” by Fermo Dante Marchetti, and has freshened up the choreography. Both routines were choreographed by Mark Pillay, who the skater has worked with for the past seven years.

Firus is currently enrolled at Athabasca University in Alberta, where he is studying for a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in finance.

“Working in the capital markets is the direction I plan on going when I decide to stop skating,” he said. “I have completed my Canadian Securities Course, and will be starting my Conduct and Practice Handbook (CPH) course next month to be licensed to work in the capital markets.”

Next month, Firus will make his second appearance at Skate Canada in Kelowna, B.C.