TORONTO - As a crowd watched figure skater Nam Nguyen go through his paces at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club on Tuesday, world bronze medallist Javier Fernandez of Spain walked over to Skate Canada high performance director Michael Slipchuk and said: 'You've got a champion.'Ē
No kidding. Slipchuk is feeling pretty good these days about the fact that Canadian skating has yet another great menís singles skater in their midst. Nguyen, a 15-year-old Northview Heights Secondary School student, gave the sport in this country a major shot in the arm last weekend by winning the menís singles title at the world junior championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, with two of the best programs he has ever skated, featuring a long program that included two triple Axels. For next season, Nguyen and his coach Brian Orser expect to add a quad.
Of course, thereís no guarantee that winning a world junior title will translate into huge things on the senior circuit, but the accomplishment certainly demonstrates that Nguyen possesses a special talent. Olympic champions Evgeni Plushenko of Russia and Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan both won world junior titles.