Figure skater Vanessa Lam recently captured the gold medal at an International Skating Union (ISU) Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating event in Innsbruck, Austria on Friday, Sept. 30. A native of Bellflower, CA, Lam placed first among 30 Junior Ladies skaters from 22 countries, looking to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final taking place Dec. 8-11 in Quebec City.
Under the helm of former World and Olympic Team Coach Doug Chapman and 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist and 1975 World Ladies Champion Dianne De Leeuw, the 16-year-old Lam currently holds the second-highest overall score in 2011 competition with two more qualifiers taking place before the Junior Grand Prix Final in Quebec (each skater may only compete in two qualifying events). Her recent victory in Innsbruck was particularly special as Austria served as the site of the Olympic Winter Games where De Leeuw won silver just over 35 years ago. Lam also won bronze at the Junior Grand Prix qualifying event in Brisbane, Australia from Sept. 8-10. The top six-scoring Junior Ladies will earn spots to compete in the Quebec City Junior Grand Prix Final. Lam currently trains at THE RINKS – Anaheim ICE and THE RINKS – Westminster ICE.
Picking up gold at the Junior Grand Prix in October 2010 in the Czech Republic, the first of her three Junior Grand Prix medals to date, Lam began skating at age five. By age 11, she became one of the youngest skaters in U.S. Figure Skating history to pass her Senior test. She was also the youngest skater competing at the Junior Level at the 2009 U.S. National Championships (age 13). Currently a junior at Downey High School, earning high honors with a 4.8 grade point average, Lam has also won the Junior and Senior Ladies Title at the All Year FSC Championships; Hidden Valley in Escondido; Silicon Valley in San Jose; and Pacific Coast Sectionals. She highlighted her first Senior year by finishing in the top six in the Short Program at the 2011 U.S. Championships in Greensboro, NC.
With THE RINKS Development Program launch in February 2009, the Ducks now operate five local skating facilities: two ice rinks and three inline facilities. Irvine Inline, the most recent addition, joined the program in Sept. 2011, while Westminster ICE was added in August 2009. The two facilities join original locations in Anaheim (THE RINKS - Anaheim ICE), Corona (THE RINKS - Corona Inline) and Huntington Beach (THE RINKS - Huntington Beach Inline). In addition to youth and adult hockey programs, Anaheim ICE and Westminster ICE offer figure skating, a learn-to-skate program, broomball, curling and public skating. For information on THE RINKS program, visit www.The-Rinks.com