of the nation
after skating to an outstanding 11th place at the Winter Olympics
Australian teenage ice queen Joanne Carter buried her head
on her coach's shoulder and said: "I'm sorry."
McDougall, Daily Telegraph
20 February 1998
17, had just pulled off Australia's finest performance of
the Nagano Games to date with a short routine marred only
slightly by a small stumble while executing one of the most
difficult of all jumps.
she sat in the "kiss and cry" area at Nagano's
White Ring stadium, the Year 12 student from Sydney's north-western
suburbs was comforted by figure skating coach Andrei Pachin.
her expectations set at world top 10 level and maybe even
higher, Carter's elation was tempered by the knowledge that
she had fallen just short of her best.
performance on a cold Nagano night, however, was enough
to gladden the hearts of Australian team officials and maybe
help inspire alpine skier teammate Zali Steggall to yesterday's
medalwinning runs in the slalom.
is now Australia's pre-eminent female figure skater of all
time, adding an Olympic top 12 placing to the 11th she gained
at the 1997 world championships in Lausanne.
she has promised the performance of her life in the free
skate where she will attempt all the twists, tricks and
triple jumps in her already considerable armoury.
puffing after her program, she said: "Now I can go
into Friday night with all the triples, take the risks.
the free skate there is more time and you are allowed to
repeat things I have nothing to lose." Carter, who
has won the national women's title for the past four years,
became the first Australian in August last year to land
a triple lutz in competition and one of only a handful internationally
who perform the jump.
158cm brunette from Sydney's Macquarie Skating Club was
five when her mother Carol took her into an ice rink to
cool down on a hot summer day. She enjoyed it so much that
she returned and started group lessons. From there she graduated
to individual lessons and a star career was born.
from a few hours at weekends Carter really doesn't get much
time to act like a normal teenager, although one of her
listed interests is hanging out with friends.
all going to be there when I finish but the Olympics is
once in a lifetime," she says hoping that Nagano will
be the first of many Games for her.
by the Russian husband and wife team of Andrei and Galena
Pachin, the Sydney skater knows she is now not far from
the best the world has to offer.