Not all athletes will excel at top-end competitions, even when those events are hosted in a comfortable, familiar setting.
The recent 2016 Skate Ontario Championships, which gathered top figure skaters from across the province, was no different. The key, however, lies in every athlete's ability to learn and move on.
Twelve year-old Kiara Falvo, representing the Sudbury Skating Club, was enjoying her first crack at the provincial championships last weekend. Finishing fifth in a field of a dozen skaters, Falvo experienced mixed emotions as she competed in front of family and friends.
"I landed my double toe, which I was happy with," she said. "I fell on my double salchow, but I had been doing it wrong for a long time, and I had just re-learned it two days before I skated.
"I landed on my foot, but just fell. I wasn't too upset about that." Falvo will perform her 2015-2016 routine one last time, when she takes part in Let's Skate, also taking place at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex, from April 8-10.
While she continues practicing her jumps and spins, looking to perfect both skills, Falvo remains hopeful that years of ballet training away from the rink will payoff, once again, when she takes to the ice in competition.
"I have a hard time with my jumps, sometimes, but I do ballet, and it really helps me in being graceful and stuff," she said. "My solo skate is actually from the Nutcracker ballet."
For 16-year-old Sarah Hancharyk of the Chelmsford Skating Club, the weeks leading up to the Skate Ontario meet were even more of a whirlwind, invited to take part less than a month before as an alternate.
"Originally, I thought only the top 3 made it, so I wasn't even an alternate after Festivals," she said. "But then I found out it was top 4."
While the late withdrawal of a fellow competitor would mean that Hancharyk would have to bypass an annual March Break excursion to Florida to compete, there was no hesitation.
And even though her performance fell well short of her goal, there were no regrets as she chatted about the experience, back at practice in Chelmsford this week.
"It's the worst skate I ever had, to be completely honest," Hancharyk noted. "When I came off this time, I was actually pretty upset, because I know that I can do really everything well.
"But I got over it pretty quick ... I'm still pretty proud of going to provincials. When I do badly, I'm so much more motivated to redeem myself at the next competition."
The opportunity will come quickly enough, as Hancharyk joins other locals in Little Current for Island Skate on April 2-3.
"It's a really comfortable competition for me, so I have a lot of confidence right now," said Hancharyk, shortly after cleanly landing a double lutz in practice.
Following are complete results for the entire field of Sudbury and area skaters which participated in the Skate Ontario Championships:
Juvenile Women - U12
Breanna Baxter (Sudbury) - 19.40 - 17th
Addison Elliot (Walden) - 16.20 - 18th
Juvenile Women - U14
Danyka Piquette (Verner) - 24.84 - 7th
Pre-Juvenile Women - U11
Ella Goulard (Verner) - 14.78 - 15th
Pre-Juvenile Women - U13
Kya Weiman (Sudbury) - 16.56 - 15th
Cassandra Bilsborough (Sudbury) - 44.35 - 1st
Senior Silver Women
Taegan Penney (Copper Cliff) - 19.30 - 18th
Junior Silver Men
Rowan McCaffrey (Copper Cliff) - 23.43 - 1st
Junior Silver Women
Sarah Hancharyk (Chelmsford) - 18.14 - 14th
Senior Bronze Women
Marina De Paolis (Walden) - 15.79 - 18th
Star 5 Boys - U13
Andrew Fjelhaim (Sturgeon Falls) - 12.33 - 6th
Star 5 Girls - U13
Kiara Falvo (Sudbury) - 16.86 - 5th
Star 5 Girls - 13 and over
Jayme Palys (Walden) - 14.97 - 9th
Gold Women triathlon
Erica Gomirato (Sudbury) - 31.15/34.50/23.17 - 88.82 - 11th
Bronze Women Triathlon
Alexis Leblond (Copper Cliff) - 22.90/26.72/13.50 - 63.12 - 12th