Hernandez skates just like Greased Lightning
Teen shows he’s cool on the ice with classic soundtrack
GREASE was certainly the word when James Hernandez struck gold at the British Ice Figure Skating Championships in Sheffield.
But whatever moves John Travolta can pull on the dance floor, Hernandez is equally slick and surefooted on the ice.
The 13-year-old, from Coleshill, danced with partner Rebecca Clarke to a soundtrack from the classic 1978 movie to wow the judges and land the basic novice dance title.
They did so by finishing top of the pile in two out of three categories – free dance and pattern dance – and coming second in the other, but doing enough in the other two for first place overall.
Even more impressive is the fact that Hernandez and Clarke have only been skating together for three months, while the pair they beat to the title have been together for three years.
In fact, so successful have the duo been that Hernandez is unlikely to be able to defend the solo title he won in June for a second year in a row
Rather than trying to make it a treble next summer, he is likely to be kept in pairs so national selectors can assess his suitability to skate for his country.
It is no surprise considering the hard work the former Davenies Prep School pupil, who now attends Dr Challenor’s Grammar in Amersham, puts in – training five days a week and hitting the ice at 7am before school.
Proud mum Stephanie Hernandez said: “James has been skating since the age of five, when we took him down to the rink while his sister competed. While she is now focused on university, James really took to it from an early age and has always been successful.
“Dr Challoner’s have been so very supportive of his skating and understanding of its commitments. We would also like to mention his brilliant coach Phillip Poole, who had two other couples at the competition who also compete internationally, which is what James and Rebecca are hoping to do.”
Having won the basic novice dance, Hernandez and Clarke also got to skate in the evening Champions Gala at the end of the competition.
South Bucks certainly appears to be a breeding ground for talented young figure skaters.
Back in July, Daniella Alessi, from Denham, came sixth in the senior ladies.at the British Solo Dance Championships, having won the junior and novice titles in 2012 and 2013.
SUCCESS: James Hernandez with skating partner Rebecca Clarke