Sydney skater returns to form
Article by Graham Croker, courtesy of The University of Sydney

Sydney University ice skater Joanne Carter made a welcome return to form at the World University Games in Tarvisio, Italy.

Carter was pleased to finish 4th in the women's short program and 6th in the freestyle program after spending two years out of the sport with a knee injury. The 1998 Nagano Olympian, who has still not fully recovered from the injury, has been juggling a sporting career with a degree in physiotherapy at the University's Cumberland campus. The 22-year-old has two clinical sessions to complete her degree. The final five-week clinical will be at Homebush Sports Centre, a place she came to know only too well during her own recovery.

The injury came after a brilliant junior career, capped by selection for the Nagano games. After failing to qualify for the Salt Lake City games last year, the former scholarship holder at Sydney University extended her career goals to take in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, and the 2007 World University Winter Games at the same venue.

Such is her determination to make up lost ground that she deferred her last clinical session to attend the Australian Championships, from which the top three skaters are selected for the World Championships. In finishing second, she also qualified for the World University Winter Games.

Carter will depart for Europe in April to gain some hard competition before returning to Australia to contest the national titles in Brisbane in December.

Carter began ice-skating as a four-year-old in Blacktown before alternating between the Macquarie Centre and Canterbury rinks. She is now training at the Norwest Business Park rink at Castle Hill. She attended Mount St Benedict College at West Pennant Hills before enrolling at Sydney University.

Carter's 12th place at the Nagano Games was the best ever result by an Australian figure skater in a discipline dominated by northern hemisphere competitors.

In the same year she won the National Senior title, finished 13th of 40 in the World Championships and broke her international drought with a gold medal in a competition at Piruetten in Norway.

Her four-minute singles program includes five triple jumps and a double axel.

Joanne's sights are not only set on Olympic and World Championship success. While the sporting side of physiotherapy or paediatrics are major options, she is also contemplating a career in medicine.