PETALING JAYA: National figure skater Julian Yee spent most of his time on ice, but when it comes to competing in the winter sport, he is on fire.

The 20-year-old made the nation proud yesterday by qualifying for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

“Being able to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics is definitely an honour and joy.

“It’s a great feeling to be able to achieve one of my greatest goals.

“I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, coaches, friends and supporters,” said the athlete when contacted in Oberstdoft, Germany.

Yee is the second Malaysian to qualify for the Winter Olympics after Jeffrey Webb, 18, who will represent Malaysia in the alpine skiing event in South Korea next year.

He said the journey to qualifying for the Winter Olympics “was not an easy” one.

“We met a few bumps here and there. However, we pulled through and I managed to do a good showing at the qualifiers,” he said.

Yee made the cut after placing sixth at the 49th CS Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany, yesterday.

The 2017 SEA Games gold medallist garnered a score of 71.93 points in his short programme at the event. His free skate routine gave him the points needed (148.74) to place in the top seven to qualify for PyeonChang.

The goal at the upcoming Winter Olympics, according to Yee, would be to make it to the finals.

“I believe that if you set your mind to it … it will be possible,” said the athlete who is ranked 38th in the world.

He conceded that there has definitely been pressure to perform well in the sport.

“I try to hide it as much as possible and cope with it.

“But at the same time, dealing with whatever stress or obstacles in the way has made me a better person,” he said.

Yee hopes more Malaysians will take up figure skating and winter sports in the near future.

“I believe that Malaysia has the potential to go further with the guidance and right facilities. The talent is definitely there,” he said.



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