Australian Harley Windsor is about to make history in South Korea, by becoming Australia’s first indigenous Winter Olympian. The 21 year old from Sydney’s Rooty Hill, will compete in the pairs skating in Pyeongchang alongside Russian-Australian partner Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya (Katia for short).
Speaking at a press conference the day before the Games, Harley and Katia say they’ve had great preparation and they’re confident in how they’ll perform, although Katia acknowledges that a medal in 2022 is more likely than a podium finish this time around.
The first Olympics for both athletes, the relatively new pair have seen great success as a team, taking out the Junior Title at the World Championships in Taiwan last year, Australia’s first figure skating title.
The child of two indigenous parents, Harley said to the press that he has “always embraced his heritage”, however they won’t be incorporating Aboriginal themes into their routine when they take to the ice next week.
Windsor’s journey to the Olympics as an Indigenous Australian is a unique story, having been raised in an Aboriginal community and starting his career by performing traditional Aboriginal dances as a child. Transitioning to the ice happened by chance.
"I got into figure skating by accident, I took a wrong turn with my Mum and I found Blacktown Ice Rink and asked if I could go in and everything kind of took off from there," Windsor told the ABC. His rise was quick following, competing in his first international competition at the age of 12 in New Zealand.
Harley hopes his involvement in the Olympics encourages indigenous athletes to move towards winter sports. “There are too many in summer sports,” Windsor joked. “It’s not easy, but it’s definitely doable.”
Harley and Katia will be competing in the Figure Skating Pairs Shorts on Wednesday the 14th of February as 12:00.