Local figure skater makes Olympic push with Canada

Messing alongside Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu (left) and a world champion Javier Fernandez (center)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The winter games are less than a month away, but Alaskan figure skater Keegan Messing will find out his Olympic fate in just a matter of days.

“I’d be lying to say I wasn’t nervous coming into this,” Messing said after his final practice before Canadian Tire National Championships.

Messing says he needs to put together two consistent programs this weekend, and he's confident he can qualify for the Canadian Olympic team.

The 25-year-old was born and raised in Girdwood, but is a dual citizen since his mother is from Ontario, Canada.

The motivation, Messing says, to skate for Canada is because his great-great grandfather was one of the country's first Japanese immigrants.

“It would mean everything,” said Messing.“It would mean the last 23 years of skating has really built up to this point, made it so I can represent my home, and my country in this amazing sport.”

Messing is just one of six skaters in the world to perform the quad lutz. This is when a figure skater jumps with at least four, but less than five revolutions.

This aggressive style has been a trademark since day one according to the figure skater’s coach Ralph Burghart.

“From the beginning he’s been very unique, they called him kamikaze,” Burghart said. “That’s a good quality to have for a figure skater.”

The Canadian National Championships men’s short program begins Friday.

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