For the past few weeks, the figure skating championships have been center stage. Last month audiences were mesmerized at the U.S. National Championships by the spectacular performance of Gracie Gold who skated to the soundtrack of the movie "Life is Beautiful". That same weekend, the European championships were swept away by Javier Fernandez's performance, making him the first Spaniard to win the title in the history of the event.
This weekend it was the turn of the Four Continents Championships that was held in Osaka, Japan. And while this ice dancing team placed in last place overall, they were clearly the stars of the event for Mexican-American audiences in the United States.
The brother and sister duo from Mexico City, Pilar Maekawa Moreno and Leonardo Maekawa Moreno, skated to the soundtrack of "The Sound of Music" during their short program at the Four Continents Championships. They were a little rough around the edges and they definitely need to step up their difficulty level but they are well on their way to achieving this. Considering this is their first major senior-level international event, they did very well. They earned a combined total of 85.02 points between the short and free skate programs this weekend.
Pilar and Leonardo Maekawa Moreno began skating twelve years ago. They have competed on the national stage in Canada and in Mexico. The siblings currently live and train in Sooke, Vancouver, Canada. Here, they have found a home and community that supports them throughout their journey.
Traditionally, Mexico does not have a legacy of strong figure skating events and support for the sport within the country is lacking. However, over the past 3 decades, many Mexican citizens have immigrated to the United States and Canada where figure skating is one of the most beloved sports. With more than 32 million Mexican-Americans living in the U.S., the popularity of the sport among this group is destined to grow.