Don’t ever give up on your dream – We sat down with Meagan Duhamel, who never gave up and showed the Olympics what she is made of. We asked, she shared. Here’s Meagan’s story!
I had a great childhood growing up in Northern Ontario, in the Greater City of Sudbury. We had a camp on the lake in the summer and skated at the outdoor and indoor rink in Lively, my hometown. My family was very interested in sports and I was introduced to many sports in my childhood. Eventually, I chose to stick with figure skating because it was my favourite. I loved going to school and taking field trips with my class to the local science centre and to Toronto to see the “big city”. I always loved skating. I don’t have many memories that didn’t involve the ice. As far as I remember, I was skating. I also did soccer, baseball, track and field, gymnastics, dance classes and tennis lessons. When I was about 6 years old, I started telling people that one day I would go to the Olympics. I was fascinated with figure skating and I wanted to become the best at a very young age.
I always dreamed of being the best in Canada and eventually, the best in the world. In 1999, I watched my sister compete at the National Championships and I saw the skaters receive their medals on a podium that was shaped like a maple leaf. I told my dad that day that one day, I would stand on that podium. In 2003, I won the Junior National Title but it took me another 9 years to win my first “real” senior National title. After many years of finishing 2nd-6th in Canada, I began to wonder if I’d ever be a champion. I felt very satisfied and proud of the results I had achieved, but I had the smallest piece of hope left inside my soul that maybe one day I could be the best in Canada. In 2011, my partner and I won silver at the Canadian Championships and we entered the 2012 championships with our eyes on the gold medal. After the short program, we were in first place, but there were 4 teams separated by less than 1 point going into the free, so we knew we’d have to perform our very best. We had one of our greatest skates ever and it was so exciting to finish and sit in the kiss and cry area and see that we had finally won that National Title. I was so excited when our score was announced, but my skating partner, Eric, told me, “Wait, watch the screen. It’s going to say we won”, so we excitedly waited for the official news. We were fortunate enough to win the title every year through 2018, and we set a Canadian record of the most National Titles ever won by a pairs team. Every year was a special win and I’ll never forget any of them.
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#tbt to when we used to do a Throw Triple Axel! Sadly, it wasn't as successful under competition pressure as we wanted, but we did get a good one at Skate Canada 2016! Even though the throw never made it to the Olympics, I learned alot in the process of training and competing it. I'm proud to have accepted the challenge of learning it!! Did you know that 2 of our 3 lifts in our long programs got more points then this throw triple axel? The risk just wasn't worth the reward for us. #trysomethingnew #throwtripleaxel #figureskating #pairsskating #tripleaxel #pushyourlimits #challengeyourself
My plan is to keep skating and work towards the next Olympics in Beijing in 2022. My goals this year are to try and start my season a little earlier. I have had injuries which delayed my training and the start of my season. This year, I will hopefully be healthy and strong for the entire season.
I love Canadian food and sports. I’m a huge Raptors fan. I love to go up north to our cottage and hang out and swim in the summer. I love Canada and the people. We are so kind and so proud of our nation. Canada is like a big family. We support each other around the country. We’ve had some tragedies this past month in our country and lost so many people in the Humboldt accident and the Toronto van attack. People across Canada rallied around those affected and not only sent condolences but fund-raised and came out to the sites to show how much we all care about each other. It was a very bad time but the love and support we have for each other as Canadians is so amazing. I felt this support when I was at the Olympics in PyeongChang. I have such wonderful fans, Canadians who didn’t even know me supported me unconditionally and it was an incredible feeling. I felt so blessed.
I do love travelling to other countries and learning about them but Canada is home and where my heart is. I am proud to represent the Maple Leaf!
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