He kicked off 2008 by winning the Canadian National Figure Skating pairs title with his partner Anabelle Langlois.
He started this year being named Grande Prairie’s male Athlete of the Year.
“That’s awesome. I didn’t have any idea I was nominated,” he said.
“After the year we had, to get that bonus bit of recognition is great.”
It’s also well deserved.
Hay’s national title was the product of 15 years of dedication.
Hay began figure skating with the encouragement of his mother Cecilia as a way to improve his skating for hockey. He improved so quickly he decided to stay with figure skating and drop hockey altogether.
“I hadn’t grown for hockey. I was one of the much, much smaller people playing and when we started hitting, hockey became not so much fun anymore because I was the one getting knocked around,” Hay said.
Trading in hockey skates for ones with toe picks isn’t always the most popular decision.
In Canada, where hockey rules, the move can be met with outright ridicule.
Hay learned that the hard way, figure skating in Dawson Creek.
“There were definitely hardships and we know how hard the teen years are anyway,” said Hay’s mother, Cecilia. “We even found the teachers were not understanding of what he could accomplish and what he could do. It was more of a hockey mindset there.”
His experience in Dawson Creek led to Hay keeping his skating a secret when he moved to Grande Prairie with his parents. Once in the Swan City, he began to see it as a more accepting environment.
“It seemed like in Grande Prairie there was a wider range of sports that everyone participated in. It wasn’t just your standard guys playing hockey, girls figure skating,” Hay said.