Picture: Andrew Ritchie FIGURING IT ALL OUT
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 adrenaline 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 a natural but I was oblivious to it; I was just spinning around and having fun, not thinking much of it.
“I wasn’t scared; I always had a bit of guts in me.”
The Sydney skater is the 2008 season 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.
“I trained Monday to Saturday; I never really had holidays and I pretty much never missed a day,” he said.
“Mum was the biggest supporter of all. She made sure I made it to training somehow, even if she could not take me.
“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 with them in Sydney and two weeks later I got an email saying I got in.”
Fernandez has performed with Disney On Ice for six years.
He is now performing in Disney On Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic.
Nicholas Fernandez shows his style on the ice.