WHEN Sydney figure skater Cheltzie Lee pulled off the performance of her career yesterday, one person was never far from her thoughts: close friend Morgan Innes.
Stepping on to the rink for her first Olympics, 16-year-old Lee dazzled spectators with an athletic routine performed to Michael Buble’s Feeling Good, a show that put her 18th of 30 skaters with a score of 52.16 points.
“It’s the best score I’ve ever gotten in my short program and it’s the perfect time to do it at the Olympics,” she said.
The former gymnast later paid tribute to her friend Innes, who died in the 2007 Sydney Harbour ferry crash.
“I am sure she would be so proud of me,” Lee said. “I wish she was here with me.”
It was a remarkable effort considering Lee only learnt she would skate at the Games three weeks ago when an Israeli competitor withdrew.
“Ever since I found out, I’ve been training my butt off so I’m glad I’ve done the best I can do,” she said.
Coach Kylie Fennell was thrilled her young charge had made the top 24 to qualify for the free skate final tomorrow.
“Tonight she even surprised me with her confidence and maturity,” Fennell said.
Lee has a permanent spinal defect after a 2007 car crash in Colorado, where she spends time training.
When she is not competing, she wears a yellow wristband dedicated to Innes, who died in the ferry disaster with three other members of Australia’s ice skating community.
Cheltzie Lee was born on April 21st, 1993 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheltzie_Lee
April 21st, 1993
4 + 21 +1+9+9+3 = 47 = her life lesson = what she is here to learn = The future. Famous. Name + fame. Notoriety. Name recogniton. (Inter)nationally known. High profile. VIP. Well-known. Household name. Public life. Limelight. Legendary. Notable. Noteworthy.