Stakelum Selected For Beijing Olympics Figure Skating Qualifier

Conor Stakelum (28) has been selected by the Board of Directors of the Ice Skating Association of Ireland (ISAI) to represent Ireland at this season’s Nebelhorn Trophy (22-25 September) in Oberstdorf, Germany, the final qualifying competition in figure skating for the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games.

Stakelum last competed internationally at the European Figure Skating Championships held pre-pandemic in January 2020 and is relishing the opportunity to get back out onto the ice.

“I am very happy to have been selected to compete at the Nebelhorn Trophy,” he said. “I have worked very hard in the absence of competitions over the last year to improve my skating, increase the difficulty of my programmes and to be ready to compete when the chance came. I’m glad that the ISAI board have recognised this and I’m excited to have to opportunity to compete again!”

This will be the Dubliner’s third attempt at Olympic qualification. His two previous tries in 2013 and 2017 provided him with invaluable experience that he hopes to put to good use this time round.

“I learn from every competition I have competed in,” Stakelum said. “The most important thing I remind myself of at these types of events is to focus on my own performances which is all I can control and to enjoy the opportunity.”

The five-time Irish national champion will also be debuting two new programmes in Germany, one of which will have a particularly Irish flavour.

“My short programme is set to a piece of music called ‘Soulseeker’ by Thomas Bergersen. It is a powerful cinematic piece of music which I think suits my style of skating well.

“My free programme is to ‘Riverdance’. Obviously, this is a very well-known piece of music which many people enjoy. I have always wanted to do a programme with an Irish theme so I am glad to be doing so this season.”

Beyond the Olympic qualifier, Stakelum is looking to a more normal season ahead and breaking new ground in terms of his own skating.

“My goals for the season are to enjoy every event I get the opportunity to compete in after such a long time with no competitions. I would also like to show the improvements I have made and hopefully score some personal bests.”

Stakelum will be competing in Germany against athletes from 25 other countries to secure one of the seven remaining places in the men’s event at the Beijing Olympics.

McAllister 14th, Stakelum 15th At Nebelhorn Trophy

Over the course of the past two days, Sam McAllister (20) and Conor Stakelum (26) competed at the 51st edition of the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany.

McAllister opened the competition with his short programme to “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck. He attempted a triple Lutz, a triple flip-double toe loop combination and a double Axel with two of his spins graded Level 4. He received 51.98 points to put himself in 14th place.

Towards the end of the same warmup group, Stakelum performed his short to “Nightshade” by The Lumineers. He went for a triple loop and then continued with a triple toe loop-triple toe loop combination and a double Axel. A flying sit spin was graded Level 4 and he placed 13th in the short with 52.75 points.

The Irish skaters followed each other in the free skating the next day. McAllister inserted four triples and two Level 4 spins into his “Pirates of the Caribbean” routine and was rewarded with a free score of 100.74 points which gave him a total of 152.72 and 14th place overall. Both marks represent new International Skating Union (ISU) personal bests.

“It was a good result here in Oberstdorf,” McAllister said. “I now have the minimum technical scores for the European Championships which was a season’s goal of mine.”

Stakelum took to the ice for his “The Sound of Silence” by Disturbed and opened with a triple loop jump. He went on to attempt four more triples and closed with a Level 4 combination spin. He scored 94.03 points for the free which amounted to a total of 146.78 and left him in 15th place.

“I had a challenging free tonight,” Stakelum said. “I am going to away and come back to deliver a better performance of this programme that I know is in me.”

Full details results for the 2019 Nebelhorn Trophy can be found here.

McAllister and Stakelum Take On Nebelhorn Trophy

The season steps up another gear this week as Irish figure skaters Sam McAllister (20) and Conor Stakelum (26) compete in the men’s event at the prestigious Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany (26-28 September).

This will be the second foray onto the international stage for both men this season. Last month, Stakelum and McAllister skated at the Tayside, Trophy in Dundee, United Kingdom where they placed fourth and fifth respectively. The Nebelhorn Trophy will be their first International Skating Union (ISU) Challenger Series event of the season and represents an increased level of competition. They will face off against skaters from 13 other nations in the short programme (Thursday, 26 September) and the free skating (Friday, 27 September).

The two Irish skaters have been drawn in the first warm-up group for tomorrow’s short (10.00hrs Irish time) with McAllister opening the event and Stakelum skating fifth out of the 18 skaters.

You can follow all the action on the live stream and the event results page.