BC and Alberta earn figure skating medals, Yukon stays strong in ninth

They call him Little Kurt. When Stuart Ure moved to Edmonton four years ago, his skating coaches dubbed him with the famous moniker after one of his…

They call him Little Kurt.

When Stuart Ure moved to Edmonton four years ago, his skating coaches dubbed him with the famous moniker after one of his idols, Canadian skater Kurt Browning.

“They liked my presentation and they liked my energy so they called me Little Kurt,” said the white-blonde 13-year-old after coming off the ice on Wednesday afternoon.

With Browning as an idol, Ure had some big skates to fill heading into the Canada Games competition.

But the young Albertan rose to the occasion.

Ure delivered a stylish routine that earned him the silver medal in the pre-novice men’s event.

After his skate, Ure pumped his fist at the crowd. He knew that he’d done well.

“I’m so ecstatic, I came here wanting to win a medal,” he said.

“It was just amazing.”

Yukon skater Kevin Caron finished the competition in ninth position — the same standing he held going into Wednesday’s competition.

Kevin’s performance was full of tough jumps and a few spills.

“It was a good skate; I had a lot of fun and that’s all that matters,” said the 16-year-old athlete after coming off the ice.

His fans had been hard at work throwing “stuffies” on the ice, and he was clutching the largest of the load — a giant white bear with pink hearts on its paws.

The bear was a gift tossed on the ice as a giant stuffed “thank you” from the Special Olympics team Kevin coaches on the side.

“It wasn’t the bestest skate that he’s had, but he did pretty good,” said Kevin’s sister Teneil, who was also rooting from the bleachers.

“It was the same as usual — he does good all the time so I don’t have to worry.”

Teneil, also a skater, is representing team Yukon in the women’s novice competition.

Having two children competing in the Games has meant more than a few sleepless nights for their mother and biggest fan Maureen Caron.

“It was very stressful,” said Maureen after watching Kevin’s performance from the stands.

“He did a lot better today. He had a lot of problems in the short and he let the crowd get to him.

“Today he still had some problems but he pulled back and finished solidly.”

“It was a little bit tense there, waiting for the jumps to come through,” said Kevin’s dad Konn.

“Everybody pulls for him; everybody is cheering him on and wants him to do well.”

Back on the ice, an elegant performance punctuated with a difficult triple-toe was more than enough to land BC’s Liam Firus a gold.

“It was good, I just did one mistake and I’ll get it next time,” he said between deep breaths after coming off the rink.

Firus gave up playing midfield soccer to concentrate on figure skating.

And that turned out to be a wise decision for the 14-year-old from Vancouver.

Firus was in front from the beginning of the competition, and his nearly flawless performance on Wednesday proved more than enough to take him to the top.

His score, 84.82, landed him more than six points in front of the silver finisher.

It’s the 14-year-old skater’s first Canada Games and taking home gold means “quite a bit.”

While some skaters were savouring a victory, others faced disappointment.

To the untrained eye, Newfoundland athlete Matthew Power’s program looked strong. He smiled as he skated confidently across the rink and nailed most of his jumps with ease.

But as the judge’s score was read over the loudspeaker, Power’s smile evaporated.

“I think I had a good skate but I’m not sure how I got a score that low,” said the 12-year-old from Marystown.

“It’s the worst score I’ve ever had.

“I was hoping to do well at this competition but so much for that,” he added.

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