Gabrielle Daleman has risen to the top of Canada’s figure skating scene since making her senior national debut in 2013.
The 19-year-old from Toronto, who captured bronze at the 2017 world championships, is now in the Olympic medal conversation.
Here’s more about Daleman and her figure skating career:
1. Daleman Began Skating at 4 Years Old
Similar to many competitive figure skaters, Daleman began skating at an early age. She recalled stepping onto the ice for the first time to Post City. It didn’t go as smoothly as you might think for a future Olympian.
“I did not want to get on that ice,” she told the publication. “I sat and cried.”
However, once she stepped on the ice rink and found her balance, she explained that “they couldn’t get me off the ice.”
Daleman quickly began a disciplined training schedule, practicing four times a week. As early as eight years old, she remembers having the Olympic dream.
“When I was eight, I was watching Joannie Rochette at the 2006 Torino Olympics, and I said to my parents, ‘That’s what I want to do when I’m older. I want to go to the Olympics and wear that Canada jacket and represent Canada.’ ”
By 12 years old, Daleman was competing at the national level as a novice.
She became the junior national champion in 2012.
2. Daleman Earned Bronze at the 2017 World Championships
Daleman captured bronze at the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships in Helsinki, while fellow Canadian Kaetlyn Osmond won silver.
It marked the first time Canada has had two women on the podium at the event.
“To have Kaetlyn on the podium with me, my teammate, now we get three spots for the Olympics, it’s just such an unbelievable feeling,” Daleman told reporters. “I’m only 19 and I’m still learning things and I’m still growing, so just to have that is so unbelievable.”
Performing to Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” Daleman’s free skate was dazzling. She opened with a flawless triple toe combination, and executed five more triples. Her free skate score was 141.33 to give her a combined score of 213.53.
As Daleman explained to The Star, she set her sights on a podium finish at worlds a year prior.
“I told my dad last year that I wanted to medal (and he) took it as a joke. He was, like, ‘OK, say what you want.’ Then I come here and he’s like: ‘Wow, she actually did it.’
“When I set my mind to something, I’ll go after it.”
3. Daleman Trains Alongside Spain’s Javier Fernandez
Daleman trains in good company. The 19-year-old’s training partner is two-time World champion, Javier Fernandez. They train together at the Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club.
Daleman and Fernandez share a close relationship, and he is one her biggest role models.
“Javy’s my training partner and I get to watch him and just want to be like him,” she told The Star. “It makes me hungry and work harder.’”
Daleman has said that Fernandez’s presence has helped guide her in training and competition.
“We do footwork and we watch each other and support each other,” she told CBC. “He’s a blast. He calls me his little sister.”
While Fernandez trains under Brian Orser, Daleman’s base coach is Lee Barkell.
4. Daleman Took Silver at the 2017 Four Continents Championship
In January 2017, Daleman captured silver at the 2017 Canadian Championships, finishing second to Kaetlyn Osmond.
A month later, she ranked first in the short and third in the free skate at the 2017 Four Continents Championships in Gangneung, South Korea.
Daleman finished 3.94 points behind Japan’s Mai Mihara to win silver. With a second-place finish, she became the first Canadian ladies’ single skater to land on the podium at Four Continents since 2009, when Joannie Rochette also won silver.
Following the season, Daleman underwent surgery to have an abdominal cyst removed.
5. Daleman’s Younger Brother Is Also a Competitive Figure Skater
Daleman’s younger brother, Zachary is also a competitive figure skater and finished 11th in the junior event at the 2015 National Championships.
Their parents are Rhonda and Michael Daleman.
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