Monday, December 15, 2008

Turn pro

It's a time of transition for Chris Mabee.

"Life's definitely changed in the past couple months," said the Canadian senior men's figure skating 2007 silver medallist in.

First, he's newly retired.

"I made that announcement last week to Skate Canada," Mabee said.

"That's permanent."

Mabee asked Skate Canada to keep his decision to retire low key.

"The focus right now shouldn't be on who's retiring, it should be on the athletes that are competing for nationals and going to the Olympics."

The 23-year-old skater trained throughout the summer with an eye on competing in two fall senior Grand Prix events (Skate America and NHK), and nationals, but he struggled to find the right frame of mind for training.

"After the last nationals, I kind of had a hard time getting back on the ice in the off season. Actually I had a hard time getting on the ice in the off season, period. And then in the summer, I tried to push myself. I tried to train, tried to be ready for the season, and something just wasn't right. My motivation was not there. My desire to train was not there. And it just made the whole process a lot harder.

"It was really frustrating, not only for me, but for my coaches and the people around me because no one really knew what was going on."

He competed at Thornhill Summer Skate in August, and rated it 'OK' considering how he felt and where he was at mentally. He went to the national team camp and felt he improved. But that improvement did not increase his desire to get back on the ice, train harder, and improve even more.

"I think that's where I realized that something was going wrong. The emotion just felt so overwhelmingly strong that I knew I was going to have to do some soul searching. And it was going to have to happen fast. I was in no mental position to compete.

"That's basically when I decided I was going to take the season off and re-evaluate," he said, recalling his October announcement to withdraw from the 2008-09 season.

Full article.

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