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Star coming to skating show

NextGen skater Megan Yim to perform with local club Dec.15

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Friday night will be one to remember for over 100 local skaters.

Skate Canada NextGen competitor Megan Yim will be at the Meadow Park Sports Centre to join the Whistler Skating Club's (WSC) Starry Night Holiday Skating Performance on Dec. 15.

Yim said she felt honoured to be invited and hopes to leave a positive mark on the club.

"I'm absolutely ecstatic to be a guest skater especially with a wonderful club like the Whistler Skating Club," she said. "I'm also very excited to get an opportunity to meet and speak with the skaters.

"I just love seeing the skating community and the community in general getting together to celebrate such an amazing sport at such a beautiful time of year."

Though she's just 16, Yim is getting the chance to give skaters an experience like one she received as an up-and-comer when Kurt Browning dropped in on her club.

"It was a really eye-opening experience just to see what he's gone through and how he's become the skater and the person he is today," she said.

On Friday, Yim will perform a "special holiday piece" with sections of "Silent Night" and "Let It Snow" setting up for a diverse performance.

"It will demonstrate my artistry and my artistic ability," she said. "It will have great energy."

After excelling on the junior circuit, Yim made the jump to the senior level last year, representing Canada internationally.

"I will be working on elements of greater difficulty, particularly the jumps," she said.

Though Yim is one of the younger athletes on the senior circuit, she doesn't feel out of place on the ice, including taking eighth at this year's senior nationals.

"When I'm competing myself, I do not notice, but it's just great to see the different ages of people competing in the sport," Yim said, noting some of the older skaters display maturity that comes with years of experience while younger skaters can push their physical boundaries. "They're doing all these quads and triple axels. It's great to see that kind of dynamic during competition."

Starting at the age of five, Yim has grown plenty over the course of her career and appreciates the journey figure skating has taken her on.

"It's not just the medals and the placements, really, it's about how much I've grown as a person through the sport and how much I've come to know about myself through this whole experience," she said. "I just really loved the feeling of mastering an element. That, honestly, has been what's kept me going."

WSC head coach Dianne Diamond added Yim is "one of the best up-and-coming female skaters in Canada at the moment" and is excited to get her to attend.

"It's going to be really nice to meet her and it's going to be amazing for our young skaters to meet her," Diamond said. "She'll be practicing for about 45 minutes before the show, and there will be the chance for our young skaters to ask her questions and get her signature.

"It's a real treat to have somebody at her level skating among our skaters."

Diamond said though the performance has always been open to the public, the club is going extra lengths to make the evening even more welcoming.

In addition to the performance from 6 to 7:15 p.m., there will be a skate with Santa and the annual turkey toss. The performance also serves as a major club fundraiser. Entrance is by donation, and there will be a bake sale and silent auction. Dinner is also available at $10 for adults and $5 for kids. There will be a wide variety of music as the Whistler Children's Choir and Whistler Singers are tapped to take the stage, including a sing-along portion, while DJ Ira will emcee and play tunes to keep the party going.

There wasn't enough time to combine the live music and skating, but that's something that could be incorporated in future years.

With its large contingent of skaters, Diamond said the WSC will be a staple of the local sporting scene for years to come.

"We're definitely a growing club," she said. "The kids are definitely moving up the ladder and starting to attend competitions. They're doing really well."

Diamond added the club hosted a summer school this year, which they're planning to expand in 2018.

"We're having our CanSkaters, which is the adorable group where everybody goes 'Awww' about, right up through to our gold skaters," Diamond said. "Some of our competitive skaters will be skating a competitive solo and some of the skaters that are new into performing a solo will be performing a Christmas-themed or Hanukkah-themed solo."

The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation contributed to the club to help with its Winter Wonderland-themed decorations, Diamond noted.

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