Lin finds new inspirations
from BOSTON Herald, Kat Hasenauer Cornetta – Friday, April 01, 2016
Amy Lin tried to treat yesterday as just another day in the life of a 16-year-old Californian.
It was anything but.
Skating at the midway point of the ladies short program, Lin, representing Chinese Taipei, shocked many with a clean performance that at the time vaulted her into first place over skaters with much more experience and name recognition.
It was just another step in a career reinvention, though it sounds strange to be talking in such terms for a very young skater.
“(This season) I’m not exactly trying to become a new me, but just trying to become the person I’ve always known I can be,” said the high school junior from Riverside, Calif., who finished 14th yesterday.
Just last year, Lin was a junior level skater representing the United States, but she was struggling. At the 2015 National Championships in Greensboro, N.C., she faltered and finished fifth.
“Coming after the Nationals in Greensboro, that was quite a disappointment for me, especially that long program with the two falls,” said Lin. “I guess I was looking for a new start.”
So she explored not just changing her skating technique, but changing the country she represented. The daughter of parents from Taiwan, it was not that someone recommended that she think about representing the country.
“I always considered myself Taiwanese, even though I live in America,” said Lin. “One of my coaches suggested last year, ‘Maybe you could consider switching to Taipei.’ ”
Lin welcomed the suggestion, and Chinese Taipei’s skating federation welcomed her with open arms. Inspired by the change, she won their national championships and was assigned to international competitions for the first time in her career.
The opportunities against the world’s elite inspired her. She finished eighth last fall in her first international event, following that with seventh and third place finishes. She competed in two major events in the weeks immediately before Worlds: the Four Continents, where she finished 15th, and the World Juniors, where she finished 14th.
She arrived back from World Juniors with a week to spare before arriving in Boston for Worlds, but the new Lin didn’t let it become an obstacle.
Taking the Garden ice to skate her short program to the music from the movie “Slumdog Millionaire,” Lin landed a triple toe loop-triple toe loop and a triple Lutz on her way to a career-best score of 57.50. She didn’t just land jumps that had alluded her in her past, she lit up the ice with a performance quality beyond that of several more experienced competitors.
Lin kept saying her great skate was just like any other day, but her coach knew better.
“It’s one thing to do it in practice all the time, and then to come out in front of all these people and still have that kind of performance,” said coach Tammy Gambill.
Deep down, Lin knew that too.
“I don’t have any words,” said a smiling Lin. “Well, I do have words, but I can’t say them in a family-friendly setting, so I’m not going to say them.
“But I am just so happy right now.”