YARMOUTH, N.S. - It was quite a trip overseas for Wedgeport resident Lorelei Murphy, who won a silver medal for Canada at the International Adult Figure Skating Competition in Oberstdorf, Germany, in her first competitive skate in three-and-a-half decades.
Murphy has done plenty of coaching over the years – both in Yarmouth and abroad – but this was her first time competing since the early 1980s.
“I was very pleased with my skate and satisfied with the result,” she said.
Over 680 skaters took part in the event, which featured various categories, with participants being at least 28 years of age.
The 53-year-old Murphy said it was a “terrific experience.”
Aside from her own performance, she coached a former student of hers from Sweden and helped him achieve a personal-best score and win a bronze medal in his category.
She also got to meet Midori Ito of Japan, former world champion and Olympic silver medallist, who was among the competitors in Germany.
“I also had the unexpected pleasure to be able to watch the training sessions of 2018 Olympic pairs medallists Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany,” Murphy said.
Impressed with the quality of the skaters she got to see, Murphy said she also was struck by how supportive people were of her, not just fellow Canadians but also members of other teams. She mentioned in particular Hong Kong, as well as the Germans, Spanish and Swedes.
“The community of skaters is wonderful to see, with all countries (showing their support for) the skaters at the end of performances regardless of nationality,” she said. “It was overwhelming.”
Despite not having skated competitively for so long, Murphy said she “felt very prepared and had no nerves at all.”
Using her experience as a coach, it was a chance to practise what she preaches, she said, “so along with the physical prep I used a lot of imagery, visualization and relaxation techniques, which worked perfectly for me that day.”
In an interview with the Vanguard prior to heading to Germany, Murphy said she had found injuries to be the biggest challenge in her quest to return to competition as an adult, noting how you don’t recover from things as quickly as you get older.
But, with the German experience behind her, she said she may compete again next year.
“I never regretted giving up the competitions in order to coach,” she said, “but this experience has reminded me how much I enjoy the process of challenge, training and skill development. All of the bruises are worth it in the end.”