Major Upset
Susan D. Russell, International Figure Skating
October 2005


No one expected 20 year old Sean Carlow to defeat 2004 national champion Bradley Santer, least of all himself. "I did not think I had a hope of winning. I was sick for a month before nationals. I could not get out of bed for a week. After that, I could only train once a day for about half an hour before I would have to go home to bed. The final two weeks prior to nationals I did a lot of cramming. I was really determined to skate the best I could.

"It was not in the plan for me to win. I thought I would go to Four Continents and look forward to the new journey to 2010."

Last year Carlow won the short program. "But I got too excited and lost it in the long," he said. "This year, Mom (his coach, Liz Cain) kept me calm. "When the marks came up I could not believe I had won. I was so excited and happy and Mom was crying. It was amazing!"

By winning the national title, Carlow earned the right to attend the Olympic qualifying event in Vienna in October. "My purpose is to skate the best I can and make it into one of the top six countries to go to Olympics. I think I will qualify if I can keep myself calm and let everyone else make mistakes," he said. Ice Skating Australia announced before nationals that the national champions will go to Worlds and the Olympic qualifying event. This will be my second trip to Worlds but first as the national champion, so I am extremely honored."

Carlow comes from a skating family. His mother was a pairs skater with her brother Peter. They represented Australia at the 1980 Olympic Games in Lake Placid. Carlow said his background brought a little bit of pressure but a lot of insight as well. "Mom has told me that the Olympics are so different from any other competition," he said. "You have to keep your focus and just concentrate on your job. I live for skating. No matter what happens this year, I will be looking toward 2010."