Ajax figure skater named to national team with eye on Beijing

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Published July 6, 2021 at 6:04 pm

nam

After a meteoric start and much mid-career disappointment, Ajax figure skater Nam Nguyen is hoping 2021 – and next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing – will be his time to shine on the global stage.

A two-time national champion in men’s singles competition, Nguyen believes his national title in 2019 – his second after also winning in 2015 – will propel him to the success that has mostly eluded him since a fifth-place finish at the 2015 World Championships in Shanghai.

Nguyen, who is still just 23, was one of three men’s skaters named to this year’s national team this week by Skate Canada, with an eye on the Olympics in China next February.

From 2007 to 2009, Nguyen won three Canadian national titles — Juvenile, Pre-Novice, and Novice — each time becoming the youngest skater to do so, and in 2011 became the youngest skater to win the junior men’s title.

In the summer of 2012, Nguyen moved to Toronto to work with legendary Canadian figure skater Brian Orser and by the 2014-15 season he was in the top ten in the world, capping the season with his first national title and the fifth-place finish at the Worlds.

Since then he has posted mostly disappointing results, switching coaches several times, and his third-place finish at the 2018 Nationals meant he missed out on a spot on the Olympic team that year.

His title in 2019 gave him new hope, though he finished 16th at the Worlds that year after two error-riddled programs, saying that his “axels kind of got away from me.”

Nguyen, who started skating at age 5, now trains in Richmond Hill.

He will be joined on the national team in men’s singles by Keegan Messing, 29, of Sherwood Park, Alta. and Roman Sadovsky, 22, of Vaughan.

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