Elizabeth Golding (13) will become the youngest Irish figure skater to ever compete in an International Skating Union (ISU) Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating series event this weekend in Linz, Austria.
Golding, who turns 14 next month, took up figure skating at the relatively late age of seven. Born in Moscow, Russia to Irish father Gerard and Russian mother Olga, her first steps on the ice were in the United Arab Emirates where her parents now work. She still trains part-time in the UAE.
At the age of 9, she was accepted into a skating school in the south of Moscow. For four years she has been under the tutelage of Alexandra Chistiakova, a former ice dancer who represented Russia and Bulgaria internationally. Golding travels to Russia for lessons and spends four to five months a year there while maintaining a healthy balance between her training and school work. She has also participated in summer training camps led by Olympic champions, such Alexei Urmanov (1994 Lillehammer) and Oksana Kazakova (1998 Nagano).
This year she was named the best female athlete in the snow and ice sports category at the UAE Teen Sports and Fitness Awards.
“My goal for this competition and the season in general is to put triple jumps into my programmes, do them confidently and still enjoy skating,” Golding said.
2018 marks the 10th anniversary of Ireland’s first participation in the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating. The series started in 1997 and includes seven events and the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. It features some of the up and coming skaters of the world and provides young skaters aged 13 to 19 with the opportunity to compete at a high international level.
Golding will compete on Friday 31 August in the short programme and Saturday 1 September in the free skating. Her performances will be broadcast live on the ISU’s YouTube channel. The event can also be followed by using the #JGPFigure hashtag across various social media platforms.