It’s a gold medal win – again – for a young South Surrey pairs skating duo.
White Rock South Surrey Skating Club’s Caiden Henderson, 14, and Quinn Woroniecki, 12, took first-place in juvenile pairs in Kelowna Nov. 10-12 at the B.C.-Yukon Sectional Championship for the second year in a row, beating other pairs skaters from Nanaimo and Richmond for the win.
The Semiahmoo High School and Ocean Cliff Elementary students, who also skate solo, started skating together fairly recently, wining the gold medal in 2022, when they had only been skating pairs for seven months.
“They were ecstatic to have won!” said Laura Woroniecki, Quinn’s mother, after the competition.
“They’ve worked really hard to keep their skills higher and moving to the next level… they learned a throw axel about 10 days before the competition,” she said.
In addition to the throw axel, the pair had to do a split twist, side-by-side jumps and spins, a pair lift, pair spin and death spiral – and both landed double salchows (pronounced sow cow), Woroniecki noted.
Under the tutelage of coaches Coaches Caroline MacKeen and Rob Woodley, the pair performed second in their category and earned the highest score – 22.32 – to win over the other couples, who scored 21.35, 20.64 and 10.58.
“I think there’s pressure on the kids to perform and do well for our club – and they do,” Woroniecki said.
“But part of what Caiden and Quinn have over the other teams is that they’re best friends – they have so much fun, you can tell,” she said, adding how it’s obvious how they communicate without words when they’re on the ice.
“You can tell they’re talking to each other, but they’re talking with their eyes… you know they’re communicating because they’re so close. They’re super connected personally.”
Because their children are close, and all of their siblings also skate, the two families have also become close, Woroniecki said, noting how she and husband Gerad and Caiden’s parents, Tracie and Gary Henderson, all get along so well.
“Our families have become a family – there’s a good friendship amongst our families… as parents we’ve learned a lot, and we’re enjoying the ride – none of us are skaters,” she said.
“We’re super proud of them for their perseverance and their dedication to it.”
Now the young duo will move on to the pre-novice level, as their coaches feel they’re ready.
Pre-novice will be harder and they’ll have to learn new moves and skills, including lifts over the head, Woroniecki said.
But they’re already working on new things and looking forward to new challenges.
“I think they prefer being on ice with someone – it’s a big ice surface.”