FIG­UR­ING IT ALL OUT

Cockburn Gazette - - LIFESTYLE - Sara Fitz­patrick

FIG­URE skater Nicholas Fer­nan­dez pre­tended noth­ing had hap­pened when he dis­lo­cated his shoul­der dur­ing a Dis­ney On Ice per­for­mance.

With five min­utes left to go in the show, he con­tin­ued to skate with a smile like only a true pro­fes­sional can.

Luck­ily the adrenalin was help­ing to mask the pain.

“This is live en­ter­tain­ment and any­thing can hap­pen,” Fer­nan­dez said.

“It was my one freak ac­ci­dent, three years ago, and I fell on one of my tech­ni­cal jumps. You have to think on the spot how to carry on the show and act like noth­ing is hap­pen­ing; no one in the au­di­ence knew.”

His path to suc­cess be­gan at the age of seven: his South Amer­i­can-born mother loved the grace and skill of fig­ure skat­ing – al­though she had never tried it her­self – and de­cided to en­rol her son in a class.

“She put me into fig­ure skat­ing for a bit of fun and about a year or so af­ter that I got a coach and took it day by day, then went into hard­core train­ing and com­pet­ing,” Fer­nan­dez said. “A lot of peo­ple said I was OUT AND ABOUT IN YOUR SUB­URB a nat­u­ral but I was obliv­i­ous to it; I was just spin­ning around and hav­ing fun. “I wasn’t scared; I al­ways had a bit of guts in me.”

The Syd­ney skater is the 2008 Aus­tralian na­tional cham­pion and has com­peted at five Four Con­ti­nents Cham­pi­onships, which is an an­nual fig­ure skat­ing com­pe­ti­tion.

He is one of five chil­dren and the only mem­ber of his fam­ily in­volved in a sport.

“Mum was the big­gest sup­porter of all,” he said.

“She made sure I made it to train­ing some­how.

“Once I stopped com­pet­ing I still wanted to do ice skat­ing and travel with it and per­form in shows, so I put my YouTube video to­gether and sent it to the agency for Dis­ney On Ice.

“A week or two later I was asked to do a live au­di­tion in Syd­ney and two weeks later I got an email say­ing I got in.”

He is now in Dis­ney On Ice Cel­e­brates 100 Years of Magic.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d483360

Nicholas Fer­nan­dez shows his style on the ice.

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