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First Indigenous Winter Olympian faces many hurdles

[supplied by Deby van Raay]


Image: supplied

Australian pair skater, Harley Windsor, continues to fight losses, closures, and being forced out by a war in his journey as Australian Winter Olympian.

Windsor made history in 2018 when he became Australia’s first Indigenous athlete to compete at a Winter Olympic Games at South Korea’s 2018 Pyeong Chang Olympics.

“Since then there have been many challenges and lots of sadness,” explains Windsor’s sister, Sharon, on the mycause fundraising page she created.

In 2020, Windsor’s former skating partner, Russian-Australian champion Ekaterina
Alexandrovskaya, died suddenly at age 20.

Harley and Katya had many successes skating together, winning at tournaments, taking out the title at the 2017 Junior World Figure Skating Championships in Taiwan, and qualifying for the 2018 Winter Olympics in a very short time.

“With the trauma, grief and sorrow to follow, it took some time for Harley to continue with his passion and professional sporting career,” Sharon explains.

Earlier this year, Harley began working with a new partner, Maria. The pair were training full-time in Moscow for access to coaches but were forced out due to the war.

Now based in Mt Druitt, in Sydney’s west, the couple began travelling the 40km to Canterbury Olympic Ice Rink every day. However, at the end of August, the Ice Rink was forced to close without notice after “structural roof concerns required immediate investigation.”

Sharon Windsor started fundraising for Harley and Maria to support them with their dream to make it to the next winter olympics.

Windsor was brought up in Rooty Hill, in Sydney’s west. He began skating in 2005 at the age of 9 after accidentally coming upon an ice skating rink.


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