Ireland's Clara Peters made history for the republic when she competed at the 2009 European Figure Skating Championships in Helsinki, Finland. Peters became the first Irish skater to compete at an ISU championships when she finished 38th at Europeans.
"It was great to skate around and see all the fans and have all the people cheer when the called my name," she said. "It was an amazing feeling. I was comforted to have support from the Irish fans in the crowd."
"I had no great expectations," Peters said. "I was pretty nervous. My goal was to have fun and skate well. I was happy to just stay on my feet for the whole program. I didn't want to come last and I didn't. If I had done my best and still come last because everyone else skated their best, then I'd be happy knowing I improved over my last competition. If I placed higher because everyone else skated poorly, it wouldn't be the same."
Earlier in the season, she became the first Irish skater to compete at an ISU Junior Grand Prix when she placed 31st at Czech Skate in Ostrava in the Czech Republic.
"My goal was to get out and get some exposure," Peters said. "I had not competed internationally before Ostrava, just in Ireland with a few girls. I'm learning how to deal with all the nerves, the stress, and the excitement that comes with competing against people from all over the world. I love learning about the different cultures and I'm learning a lot about things they do off ice, how they cope and how they prepare themselves to compete. I'm just finding out what I need to do because the sport is so new in Ireland." Full article.