PETALING JAYA: The Chinese New Year reunion dinner with his family is going to be very different for Canada-based national figure skater Julian Yee this year.
He will be celebrating with friends in Barrie, Ontario but when his family get together for the reunion dinner, he will be with them, at least in spirit. He will be on Skype.
“Reunion dinner via Skype is tough because of the time difference now, which is 13 hours. They will be having their dinner and I will be having breakfast.”
“If I am in Canada or overseas, I would usually call my family during the festival. During reunion dinner, they would give me a call.
“Over here, I will probably have a small get together, a mini-reunion dinner of sorts. Nothing too big here for me, ” said Julian.
The 22-year-old, who became the first Malaysian to compete in the Winter Olympics when he skated in the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, cannot come home to Kuala Lumpur due to training and university commitments.
Still, he certainly remembers the Chinese New Years with his family vividly.
“Whenever I am in Malaysia during the festival, it is a fond memory. I would visit relatives and friends. After visiting my grandmother’s residence in Kuala Lumpur, we’ll head to the old folks home, ” said the 2017 and 2019 SEA Games gold medallist.
“We do it every year because some people are not fortunate enough to have families around them to celebrate. It is a yearly tradition that we have done for so many years.
“Unfortunately, I will be in Canada and will not be able to do it this year, but my family will still be doing it, ” said Julian, who has missed four consecutive Chinese New Years due to skating commitments.
Since moving to Canada in 2016, Julian has been celebrating the new year with his friends in Ontario even though the Chinese population is not high in the city.
The 2019-2020 skating season is coming to an end, and the culmination of it will be the World Figure Skating Championships from March 16-22 in Montreal.
Julian has confirmed his participation for the tournament and said preparations are going full swing and he is putting in the hours at the Mariposa School of Skating.
His plans for the new year are to finish his final year of his Human Resources Management programme at the York University in Toronto and then help to grow the sport in South-East Asia through his academy, the Julian Yee Ice Skating Academy.
“The aim is to start new things and also overcome obstacles that come my way. A lot of things will be coming at me this year, and I hope I will be able to cope with it and do the best.
“It will be a developmental year for me in terms of skating. I want to push my academy more and also learn new choreography for my skating.”
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