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19-year-old Coquitlam skater wins spot on Canada's Olympic team
Canada's Olympic skating team was revealed Sunday after Canada's national skating championships at the University of British Columbia.
The 17-athlete roster includes familiar names like Patrick Chan, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. But there's also a 19-year-old from Coquitlam who will be going to the Olympics for the first time.
Larkyn Austman was just 12 years old when she was a flower-retriever at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Now, she's been named one of only six first-time Olympians on the team after a surprise third place finish this week.
"It hasn't really sunk in yet," she told CTV News. "I'm so happy… it means so much to me."
She said her Olympic dream wasn't something she thought possible until a few months ago. Austman's parents were both competitive skaters, and her father, Leonard Austman, told CTV he's incredibly excited.
"It's been her dream for a long, long time," he said.
Austman says Patrick Chan is a skater she looks up to because of his work ethic.
"He keeps working at things and keeps pushing even if they're already perfect," she said.
Chan, 10 time national champion and Olympic silver medalist, will also be representing Canada in Pyeongchang. At just 27 years old, it's his third Olympic games.
"It's wonderful," he said. "To go for the third time, I hope this one I can experience it for myself. I feel like the last two times were a learning experience."
Ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were named co-captains for Team Canada after earning a perfect score in the free dance at the national championships at UBC this week.
Coincidentally, it's the same city where they won their first Olympic gold in 2010.
"We'll cherish those cheers, and that feeling in the arena at UBC," Virtue said. "We'll take that with us on the road to Pyeongchang."
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Sarah MacDonald