Home' Aurora : Aurora November 2014 Contents 5
www.mn.catholic.org.au Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
Have you seen her on the bus? The young
lady gr acing the cover of this month's Aurora
is tr avelling local streets in large action
por traits on the sides of Newca stle and
Lake Macquarie buses.
Not only is War atah girl, Kailani Cr aine,
the best promotion for Hunter Ice Skating,
but the brightest skating star in the
What has influenced me to tell you
Two years ago, after meeting South Koreans
at Mass , I searched the net to discover a
little about their homeland. One of the
first things to take my attention was the
popularity -- no, the adulation -- concer ning
South Korea's biggest star, figure
skater, Yuna Kim.
In 2008, on the cusp of her greatest
achievements , World Championship and
Olympic Gold, this eighteen-year-old
was baptised. Why? It piqued my interest
and revealed a fascinating tale about the
influence of committed lay people. But that
is another story.
What snared me completely was video
of Yuna on ice. Pure gr ace ! Watching her
skating raised my spirits. I was in awe at the
combination of top level athleticism and
sheer ar tistr y that come together in this
spor t that is little known to most Austr alians.
So I was ama zed and overjoyed to discover
that we Novocastrians have a figure skating
champion of our own. Kailani Craine is on
top in Austr alia, and r apidly on her way on
the international scene.
Four times Austr alian Junior Ladies
Champion, and cur rently the number one
ranked female figur e skater in Austr alia
in both junior and senior divisions , Kailani
is sixteen and still a junior. She is skating
towards the 2018 Winter Olympics in
A friend's bir thday par ty at the Warner s Bay
rink can be thanked for Kailani's introduction
to figur e skating. Kailani was eight. She was
immediately taken with the thrill of gliding
freely. What's more, she was good at it -- a
natural. Her gr andmother bought her a
skating dress. She was on her way.
Kailani did not set her sights on being a
world beater. She was enjoying her self
and "focused on being in the moment", she
told me via Skype from Los Angeles. She
concentrated on doing well where she was.
She found that she "graduated" naturally
from level to level without much thought for
the future until she found her self confronted
by 'the nationals'. That's the National
Championships -- where Kailani was
Underdog status is now left far behind.
Kailani dominates in Austr alia. She has pulled
well ahead of the pack.
Her ventur es in inter national competition
have been rewarding and promising. Twelfth
in the Tallinn Cup (Estonia) and fir st in the
Lombardia Trophy (Italy) are Kailani's most
Coach George Galanis is impressed
with the consistency of Kailani's effor ts
and perfor mances, her attitude and
commitment to tr aining. "She works hard,
ver y hard, and if she stays fit and healthy
there's no limit to what she can achieve."
In December she will compete in the
National Championships in Brisbane, striving
to be the first ever to claim both the junior
and senior titles. Her cur rent top r anking in
both is based on cumulative per for mances,
not on one event. Kailani will battle with
second - r anked Brooklee Han, a senior,
who scored a creditable twentieth placing
for Australia at the Sochi Winter Olympics
early this year. It will be the fir st time these
friends have competed against each other,
and it will be a competition wor th following.
Enrolled at St Pius X High School,
Adamstown, Kailani is sometimes
absent. She attends major inter national
competitions, and trains for par t of the year
in Los Angeles . The school for wards work
to her wherever she is around the globe.
She ha s received "tr emendous suppor t and
encour agement" from staff and students. A
request from Tim Howes, Year 10 Student
Co-ordinator, that Kailani provide a flag
from ever y nation where she competes has
resulted in a substantial collection.
Nex t year Kailani will progress to St Fr ancis
Xavier's College, Hamilton. She is repor tedly
an excellent student with a promising
academic future, especially in her favourite
ar ea s of maths and the sciences. Kailani
appears to balance her spor t and studies
At every step Stephen and Katrina have
suppor ted and monitored their daughter's
progress and well being. After ever y success
they have asked her if she wished to quit
while on a high. "This is what I like doing," is
Stephen speaks with pride about watching
his daughter mature, as well as her success.
She has developed her own ways to
prepare for competition and to deal with
stress and any problems which arise. She is
taking with maturity the issues for which her
parents were formerly responsible.
Katrina is her constant suppor t in foreign
countries. She wa s moved when str anger s
threw teddy bear s on the ice in appreciation
for one of Kailani's perfor mances. This is a
GRACE ON ICE
Katrina, Kailani and Stephen Craine enjoying Venice, between competitions.
common sign of admir ation in some skating
nations. While saying Kailani is "the hardest
working machine there is", and admiring
her "expressive acting ability when she is
per forming", Katrina has highest regard
for her daughter's kindness to people
(not always found in competitive circles),
especially her keenness to help
younger skater s.
What is Kailani's hope? To compete
successfully at the Olympics in 2018. Yes ,
of course. But revealing tr ue char acter
she says , "I want to make ever yone smile
and enjoy what I do. If I go down while
competing I get up smiling and keep on
doing my best."
Kailani wants Austr alians to share her
passion for this beautiful spor t.
A popular contempor ary hymn sings
to 'the Lord of sea and sky'. The name
Kailani means 'sea and sky' in Hawaiian.
Ever y time I sing these words from now
on I know I will be drawn to a prayer for
Kailani, that she will have gr ace and success
on the ice, and in her whole life.
Please visit http://aussieskates.com/
Links Archive Aurora October 2014 Aurora December 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page