Sarnia's Michael Marinaro and Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines (Photo Courtesy of Skate Canada)

Olympics Dream Come True For Sarnia Skater

For Sarnia-born figure skater Michael Marinaro, going to the Olympics has been a dream since first strapping on the skates at age five.

Now, he and his pairs partner Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines are on their way to the games in Pyeongchang, South Korea starting February 9.

It’ll be Marinaro’s first time competing at the Olympics, while Moore-Towers won a silver medal in team figure skating at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

They qualified for the event after capturing bronze at the Canadian Figure Skating Championships on January 13.

The 26-year-old Marinaro says he’s thrilled to get the chance to perform on figure skating’s biggest stage.

“I’m super, super excited, it’s been a life-long dream of mine and it’s been close but really far away the past couple of years,” says Marinaro. “It was definitely a fight since we have four teams in Canada in my discipline that are top ten in the world. We had a pretty good battle for the top three spots to get the Olympic berth.”

“Really, I have no idea what to expect at this point. It’s just about keeping an open mind and going there trying for a couple of personal-best performances and see where that lands us.”

Marinaro says he’ll be joined in Pyeongchang by his parents and brothers, thanks in part to the generosity of the Sarnia-Lambton community.

A GoFundMe page to help his family make it to the games has already raised over $15,000.

“The support throughout the years by the community has just been huge,” says Marinaro. “But, I never imagined it would be on this level. The support that has come through over the past seven to ten days has been absolutely insane. Myself and my family are just blown away, we don’t know what to say.”

Other Canadian figure skaters taking part in the Olympics include Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir, Meagan Duhamel, Eric Radford, and Patrick Chan.

Marinaro and Moore-Towers have also been named to the Canadian team for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Italy in March.

 

Here’s the full interview with Michael Marinaro: