Americans Olivia Flores and Luke Wang won the silver medal at their first Junior Grand Prix in Linz, Austria. They were initially scheduled to return to the United States for a few days before heading to Budapest for their second Grand Prix. However, they learned that they would instead be going directly to Istanbul from Linz, without stopping in the United States. Surprised but ready for the challenge, Olivia and Luke are not short on ambition. They told us about it in this interview.
Solène: How do you feel about this competition and your programs?
Olivia: We achieved personal bests in both programs, which feels really good. Our goal was to break 90 in the long program, but we thought it would happen later in the season. We are so happy it happened this early.
Luke: It shows us that the sky is the limit. We are thrilled.
Olivia: It's our first Junior Grand Prix, which was nerve-wracking. There were a few bumps, and there is room for improvement, but we are getting there. Our teammates helped a lot; we really support each other.
Solène: Tell us about your journey since you teamed up.
Luke: We missed out on the Grand Prix Series last year because we teamed up quite recently. We worked really hard in a short amount of time and learned all the pair elements. We kept pushing forward, even with doubts in our minds at times. We went to the Challenge Cup at the end of last season, which helped us gain experience. We were doing single skating before and still compete in singles domestically.
Solène: What are your goals this season?
Luke: We have very ambitious goals and hope to qualify for the Grand Prix final. We are also aiming for Junior Worlds later in the season.
Solène: How come you are doing both pairs and singles?
Olivia: We will continue to compete in singles domestically, but the main focus will be on pairs where there are many opportunities. We still enjoy single skating, and I'm not ready to give it up.
Luke: Single skating is a good foundation for pairs, especially for jumps and spins. It also helps with stamina.
Solène: Tell us about your programs.
Luke: The short program is to the music "Once Upon A December" by Christy Altomare, from the Anastasia movie. It's the Broadway version. This music is so fun to skate to, and it allows for long extensions and lines. In the long program, we're skating to Star Wars music. We are interpreting characters: Olivia is Leia with her hair buns, and I am, well, Luke! My parents actually named me after Luke Skywalker. They are big fans. My dad introduced me to Star Wars, and I'm a big fan too.
Solène: Which skaters do you look up to?
Luke: So many of them! Wenjing Sui and Cong Han, for sure.
Olivia: Alexa, Brandon, and Chris, too!
Solène MATHIEU - Skate Info Glace