Winter Olympics 2018: Harley Windsor Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya miss figure skating cut-off

GRACEFUL: Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya and Harley Windsor of Australia perform in the pair figure skating short program on Wednesday. Photo: AP/ JULIE JACOBSON
GRACEFUL: Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya and Harley Windsor of Australia perform in the pair figure skating short program on Wednesday. Photo: AP/ JULIE JACOBSON

Gulargambone might not seem like the kind of place which would develop Winter Olympians but that’s exactly where the family of Harley Windsor hails from.

Windsor became the first Indigenous Australian to compete at the Winter Olympics on Wednesday when he and Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya took to the ice to compete in the teams figure skating competition.

The history-making Windsor and his partner got through a near-clean routine in PyeongChang but it wasn’t enough as they eventually finished the round in 18th place.

Only the top 16 performing pairs moved through to Thursday’s free skate.

Windor had received a huge amount of attention in the lead-up to his Olympic debut, as he also came from modest upbringings.

Mother Josie, a proud country women from Gulargambone, moved the family to western Sydney and it was there that young Harley entered the world of ice skating.

Josie Windsor was driving when she took a wrong turn and ended up at the ice skating rink at Blacktown.

Eight-year-old Harley ended up strapping on some skates and the rest, as they say, is history.

In South Korea on Wednesday, Windsor and Russian-born Alexandrovskaya, scored 61.55 and were briefly in the lead.

But they ultimately fell outside of the top 16 as more pairs competed.

Skating to the Hidden Citizens' cover of the Rolling Stones classic Paint It Black, they nailed their opening element, a triple twist, but was a wobble by Alexandrovskaya on the second move.

The finished 18th of the 22 entrants, well off the 82.39 benchmark set by China's Wenjing Sui and Cong Hang in PyeongChang.

The Australian pair displayed a mixture of delight and relief when they stepped off the ice at Gangneung Arena having landed their throws, Windsor’s mother a proud figure in the stands.

Crowned world junior champions last year, 21-year-old Windsor and 18-year-old Alexandrovskaya were short of their season-best 66.45.

The second to skate, they finished ahead of entrants from Israel, Austria, Japan and hosts South Korea.

Despite so much focus being on him, Windsor said before the competition he had been able to keep his mind on the job at hand.

"This comp is just like every other," he said.

"We're just doing exactly how we would normally train everyday.

"When we're on the ice, I don't think about the media side of things.

"Once I'm at the rink and in my zone, then I don't really pay much attention to what's going on around me."

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