Wednesday, 17/1/2018 | : : UTC-8
Skate Today

Craigmyle Gunning for World Record

Michael Craigmyle

Vancouver’s Michael Craigmyle wants to make the Guinness Book of World Records. “I like to skate as fast as I can and jump as high as I can,” Craigmyle said. “I go into jumps really fast. I’m going for the world record for the longest distance in the air on an axel jump. The current record is about 19 feet. I can now jump 22 to 23 feet. I used to keep a book of all my jumps with the distance I traveled. I can go about 14-15 feet on a double axel and 7-8 feet on my triple axel. I’ve contacted Guinness already. Now I have to get a judge to watch the jump, film it and send in the tape and the forms.”

He began skating when he was six. “I took CanSkate lessons because I wanted to play hockey, but I liked figure skating more than hockey,” he recalled. “I did play hockey recreationally on an outdoor rink from when I was six to 13 and I still play for fun.” He landed a double axel at 13 and a triple toe at 14 and now includes a triple axel in both his short and long programs. His hardest combination is currently triple lutz-double toe but he’s working on triple flip-triple toe for next season.

Craigmyle is a big fan of the new judging system. “I love it,” he said. “The first mark is awesome. We always needed something like that. I’ll be working to get as many Level 3s as I can. But I don’t understand the second mark.” He’s trying to get his triple axel more consistent and plans to begin working on a quad toe or quad flip this summer. “What’s holding everyone back from trying the quad flip,” he asked.

At Canadians, Craigmyle was fifth in pre-novice men in 1998, 13th in novice in 2001, third in novice in 2002, 14th in juniors in 2003, and 17th in seniors in 2004. Internationally, he finished 8th in juniors at the Mladost Trophy in 2002. He also did well at two North American Challenge Series novice events, winning a bronze in Vancouver in 2001 and finishing fourth in Phoenix in 2002.

Robert Tebby coaches Craigmyle at the Mariposa School of Skating in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. He does two 45-minute sessions each weekday on ice and works out for an hour to an hour and a half off ice three times a week. He rollerblades and cycles in the summer, but doesn’t do ballet. “I had ballet classes, but never enjoyed it,” he said.

Craigmyle chooses and cuts his own music and does much of his own choreography. “I have a lot of music on my computer,” he said. “I started doing choreography when I was in novice. I did my short program entirely by myself except for the footwork. My Dad has a black belt in kung fu so I wanted to do something with a kung fu theme, but fast, so I used Chinese techno music. I’ve had the program for three years now.” He used “Ying Xiong Sui Shu” from “Once Upon A Time in China” for the program.

For the long, Craigmyle used “She Hates Me.”. “David Islam and I choreographed the long,” Craigmyle stated. “The long was new this season. I needed to change to something serious so I picked something lots of people were skating to.” Last year, he skated a clown program. “I wanted to push it to the edge,” he said. “I got the music from a video game.” Next season, he plans to have change the short and keep the long. “I’ll probably do a mime solo for the short,” said Craigmyle, who cites Gary Beacom, Laurent Tobel, and Kurt Browning as his favorite skaters. “I loved Kurt’s clown program,” he said.

Off ice, he listens to rock and rap music, watches movies, and makes music videos on his computer. “I take videos of skaters on and off the ice and mix with my music and we all have a good laugh,” he said. He collects DVDs but gives all his stuffed animals to his girlfriend. The 20-year-old also performs with the Icemen, a group of skaters from Ontario who perform comedic synchro programs to raise money for charity, especially breast cancer. He hasn’t traveled much. “I did Zagreb,” he said, “and that was really enjoyable. I’d like to go to anyplace that’s fun.”

Craigmyle has finished high school and is looking for a job. “I graduated with honors,” he said. “I was three years ahead in math, two years ahead in French and ahead in chemistry and biology. But I probably won’t go to university. I want to take my skating as far as I can. I can always go back to school.”

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Skate Today was created in November 2004 to showcase the people of the skating world, skaters and coaches and others, who make figure skating and ice dancing a pleasure to watch for fans from around the world. The goal was to create a site that would give viewers an insight into the personalities of the people involved in this sport and to give you a more personal connection when watching them live at an event or on the television. Our staff knows how much time and dedication is put into this sport and that's why Skate Today was created.

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