ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Girdwood's Keegan Messing is scheduled to take to the ice for Canada in the men's figure skating short program. The competition starts at 4:00 p.m. Thursday, Alaska time.
Keegan Messing is all smiles after being named to Canada's 2018 Olympic Figure Skating team.
Here's a story Channel 2 originally published on Jan. 17, explaining Messing's journey to the Olympics:
Before last weekend, Keegan Messing was an unknown to many Alaskans outside of the local figure skating scene. Now, that is no longer the case, as the athlete will soon be taking the international stage.
"I can't put it into words, this whole week has been a whirlwind of camera, press and friends coming together," said Messing.
The dual citizen qualified for the Canadian Olympic Figure Skating Team after taking second overall at nationals held in Vancouver over the past weekend.
The 25-year-old landed in Anchorage on Monday alongside his girlfriend and mother. He was surprised by former coaches, fans, and fellow figure skaters welcoming him home with signs at the airport.
“He is a really big inspiration for us, and skates at the same rink as us,” said Berenger MarcAurele, one of dozens who waited for Messing at the airport.
Tears and laughter were met with hugs as Messing’s mother, Sally, remembers what it took to get to this point.
“People laughed at me when he was 4-years-old, and I told them that he wanted to go to the Olympics,” said Sally Messing as she fought back tears.
Sally taught Keegan to skate at an early age on their family’s pond in Girdwood, and even worked at a local hockey rink to make ends meet.
“They actually hired me at the ice rink, and they helped out with the ice time, everything there,” said Sally Messing
From the pond to possibly the podium, Messing’s journey has came full circle.
“This is an Alaska thing, this is a Girdwood thing, and it’s not just a Messing thing,” said the proud mother clutching the bouquet her son gave to her after taking second at the Canadian nationals.
Messing says he will train in Anchorage until he leaves for the Winter Olympics in February.