Gabrielle gifted at ice skating

PERFECTING her tricks can be a chilling task but Gabrielle Mundine's (pictured) persistence has carved out a remarkable and international journey on the ice.

The 15-year-old figure and synchronised skating athlete joined her synchronised skating team Majestic Ice Australia in placing first at the Caen Cup in Paris before representing Australia at the Junior World Challenge Cup in Sweden in March.

It came after her team was placed first at the state championships and second at the national championships last year, with her success also earning her the title of Penrith Valley Sports Foundation Junior Sportstar of the Month for April.

"The one in Paris was our first international competition ever, we sang the Australian national anthem and it was a really good experience," Gabrielle said.

"We also did really well for our first year at the Junior World Cup where it was really, really tough."

On a team of 15 girls and one boy, the skaters had to compete in two routines, a short and "quite easy" program and a long program that "has more difficulties".

"Overseas skating is a really big thing, lots go to watch and you have a bigger audience so it's a lot more scary," Gabrielle said.

"Most of the teams have been doing it for a long time and were really more advanced and watching, we thought wow! we need to step up a little."

The Penrith Ice Palace Figure Skating Club member first strapped on her skates 10 years ago and was placed in the top 10 in her first figure skating state championships four years ago.

But the synchronised component of her sport is the aspect she loves most.

"I enjoy it more," she said.

"You're close to your team members, they're like your family and it's a great experience when we do learn new steps and move forward." The Xavier College student's current goal is to help her team return to the Junior World Challenge Cup next year and show enough improvement to win.

"We're making up a new program at the moment and doing all new styles and different tricks," she said.

"So hopefully it all works out."

¦ Courtesy of PVSF Junior Sportstar of the Month sponsor, the St Marys Leagues Club, Gabrielle has won $400. To nominate, visit pvsf.org.au.

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