Mikayla Kramer, seen here during a performance of the Wizard of Oz in Whitehorse, placed second in her category at the Autumn Leaves 2019 figure skating competition. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Kramer finished second in the junior women category of the 2019 Autumn Leaves competition

Whitehorse’s Mikayla Kramer won silver at the Super Series Autumn Leaves 2019 figure skating competition from Oct. 17 to 20 in Chilliwack, B.C.

Competing in the junior women category, Kramer scored personal bests in both the short and free programs to finish second both overall and in each program.

“I was very happy about my results at the Autumn Leaves competition,” said Kramer. “It was really a good step for me for the next part of the season. … My two results at Autumn Leaves were two new personal bests for myself. And personal bests not by like 0.2, personal bests by almost 13 points. It was an amazing feeling.”

Kramer represents the Arctic Edge Skating Club here in Whitehorse when she competes, but lives and trains in Kelowna, B.C., with the Kelowna Skating Club for the past handful of seasons.

“The medals, to me I don’t really care about them,” said Kramer. “As long as I keep enjoying skating. That’s my whole goal when I’m living and training in Kelowna – that I keep enjoying skating and that I can have skating throughout my life.”

Next up for Kramer is the Super Series Sectionals from Nov. 7 to 10 in Kelowna. A strong result there would qualify Kramer for the Skate Canada Challenge in Edmonton at the end of November with a spot at the nationals in January 2020 on the line.

Training will be same in the lead up to that competition – it’s two to three hours a day, six days a week all year long, she said — although her mental preparation will change.

“The only thing that might change is the mental preparation right before the event,” said Kramer. “Kind of more visualization, more feeling of ‘OK, this is how it’s going to happen’ and more self-talk about ‘you can do this’ and motivational stuff like that.”

Kramer said while other families in their situation often send high-performance athletes to live with billets or other family while training, her mother lives in Kelowna with her while dad and her sister Anika, a skater in her own right, stay in Whitehorse.

“(It’s) really hard, but they’re very supportive of everything,” said Kramer. “It’s very hard, but we do see each other often.”

Going to school in Kelowna means Kramer only gets to return to Whitehorse for holidays and breaks.

Kramer portrayed Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz ice show last winter and said she’s glad she can help inspire local skaters about what’s possible.

“I think it’s amazing because how the little kids are feeling is how I feel towards the people I look up to, so I really understand what they felt,” said Kramer. “It’s inspiring to me when I go home to train and I see these younger skaters watching me. It’s really inspiring and I always want to perform for them.”

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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