BUIVIDS, Sunday Herald Sun
3 August 1997
Carter was 4 1/2 when her mother decided to take her to
the ice rink on a scorching summer's day.
the sweat from her brow, Carol Carter helped her only daughter
lace up chunky hired blades, then escorted her on to the
was on that shaved, slippery surface the child took her
first steps into a new, exciting world which would become
an important part of her life.
was purely by chance, it was a very warm day," Mrs
Carter recalled of her first visit to the Blacktown ice
rink in Sydney's west.
took Joanne to the rink and she loved it. I couldn't pull
tentative, innocent and intrepid steps signalled the beginning
of Joanne Carter's 13-year journey on the road to Nagano,
decade of crawling out of bed at 4.30am and hitting the
ice before and after school has its rewards.
February, Carter, 17, will represent Australia at the Winter
Olympics in Japan after surprising herself, her coach, her
parents and skating officials by finishing 11th at the world
figure skating championships in Lausanne, Switzerland earlier
was the highest individual placing by an Australian woman
in figure skating, and at her first senior world championships.
finished 10th in the compulsory section, 10th in the short
program and 11th in the long program.
top 16 placing guaranteed automatic Games selection.
Australian woman had made the final at a world championships.
you look up at the board and see her position and she's
lying 11th, it was so overwhelming," Mrs Carter said.
were a lot of tears, mostly shed by my husband.
had a heart transplant in 1993 and he never thought he would
so proud of Joanne. He just sort of thinks he's lucky still
to be here and watching Joanne skate at an Olympics means
so much to him."
the winner's dais at national and state figure skating titles
since she was 13, Carter said she had a long-time ambition
to represent the green and gold at an Olympics.
she admitted she was surprised to qualify for Nagano at
this stage of her development.
a dream come true," Carter said. "It's something
I've worked hard for and dreamt for a long time.
year is a bonus. It was at the back of my mind to go to
the Olympics next year, but my aim was for 2002.
feeling good about it, it's going to be a fantastic experience.
going out to do a personal best performance and find out
where that puts me. If that's at the top, fine and well.
going there to be a competitor, not a spectator."
for six years by John Carlow at the Macquarie rink in Ryde,
a short drive from her family's West Pennant Hills home
north of Sydney, Carter switched to former Russian pairs
champion Andrei Pachin 18 months ago.
with the Moscow On Ice show in 1992, Pachin stayed in Australia,
first coaching in Victoria, then moving to Sydney.
believes Pachin has lifted her performance to the elite
level. He has exposed her to more international competition,
taken her around the world - and taken her off the ice.
has also organised a new program for his pupil who will
skate to the Tango next year in Japan and at the world championships
in Minneapolis, in the US, following the Winter Olympics.
has a very, very different outlook on the sport," Carter
everything was on ice, there was no emphasis off the ice.
believes to be able to do the things on the ice, you must
be first able to do it off the ice.
things he has me doing can only lead to improvement."
training routine involves 4.30am starts six days a week,
hitting the ice at 5.45am for a session ending at 8am. Then
it is off to school at Mount St Benedict College where she
is studying Year 12, before another two-hour session at
4pm four days a week.
also does ballet, running, weights and strength work, and
stretching. She combines her training with a disciplined
diet, enabling her to keep her 53kg, 159cm frame in peak
Langton, secretary of the Ice Skating Association of Australia,
said: "To be a skater, you have to be made of cast-iron.
is enthusiastic and loves having a go. She doesn't wimp
out and she's very, very tough on herself.
is a saying in ice skating; it takes five years to learn
it, and 10 years to perfect it ... and Joanne is still perfecting
project manager with the Australian Olympic Committee and
an administrator at two winter and three summer Olympiads,
Langton believes Australia's best medal hopes lie outside
the women's figure skating event in Nagano.
believes Carter will graduate to a realistic medal hope
at the 2002 Winter Olympics, using Japan as another stepping
stone on the path to achieving international success.
are not putting her as a medal hope at this stage,"
consider her as an Olympic diploma - a paper medallist,
a top eight finisher."
eyes will be on Carter when she glides on to the ice in
Sydney this week at the national figure skating titles and
next year in Japan, none more eager than those of her parents,
Carol and Alan.
tears are expected to flow again for their little girl.
A girl they say who has given so much.
best part about all this is she is making her mark,"
Mrs Carter said. "She is getting better and better.
all the effort she's put into the sport, she deserves to
get just as much out of it."