cuts fine figure on world stage
JENNY McASEY, The Australian
3 April 1997
CARTER yanks on the laces of her heavy white skating boots.
She hasn't worn them for nearly two weeks, not since they
spun her across the ice at the World Figure Skating Championships
in Lausanne and into 11th place in the world.
a ranking no Australian female figure skater has ever reached.
Until Joanne's effort, no Australian woman had ever been
in the top 20; none had even qualified for the final of
the world championship.
Carter surprised herself, and shocked the heavies of the
international figure skating world.
coach, former Russian national team member Andrei Pachin,
says there was disbelief when Joanne beat more experienced
skaters such as China's Lu Chen, the world silver medallist
people come to me and congratulate us, from Russia, from
America, because for Australia ... it's like somebody from
Africa doing cross-country skiing, it's unbelievable, the
same with ice skating from Australia," Pachin said.
it is partly thanks to Australia's weather that Carter began
ice skating. When she was about five years old her mother,
Carol, took her to Sydney's Blacktown rink to escape the
heat on a scorching day.
took to it straight away," says Carol Carter. "We
just kept taking her back because she loved it and never
wanted to get off the ice."
was soon entering competitions, and has been Australian
champion in every age division. Since she was 13, she has
been Australian champion in both the junior and senior divisions.
the past eight years she has skated at Macquarie Ice Rink
in Sydney's north west. Then, one year ago, a "gift
from heaven" in the shape of Andrei Pachin arrived
there, says Carol Carter.
has been in Australia since 1992, when he came to perform
in the Moscow On Ice show and decided to stay. He spent
time in Victoria, then moved to Sydney.
Joanne and her mother agree that Pachin has pushed her to
amazing, he's fantastic," says Joanne. "Everything
just kind of clicked. He's a motivator and that's exactly
what I needed."
Carol Carter: "The more Andrei gets angry with Jo the
more she says `well, I'll show you I can do it'."
all came together for Joanne in Lausanne. She entered her
first world championship aiming to make the top 16, which
would qualify her for next year's Winter Olympics.
didn't know if that was possible at my first world championships
and I didn't want to put too much pressure on myself,"
Joanne said. "I just wanted to skate three clean programs,
to do a personal best and see where it put me."
says there is "lots and lots" of work to do between
now and the Olympics if she is to achieve her dream of an
has to be an improvement in every aspect of my skating,"
and there's also the matter of schooling to fit in. Carter
is currently studying for her Higher School Certificate,
and would like to do sports medicine.
does she manage it all?
has no social life whatsoever! says her mother.
but it's all worth it now," says Joanne.