Skyler, Danny and Joshua Kah in action. Photo courtesy of Danny Kah to UniSport Australia.
In 1985 Australia etched its name into the history books with a gold and silver medal in the men’s short track speed skating event at the Winter Universiade in Belluno, Italy.
The success was achieved by now three-time Olympian, Danny Kah.
34 years later, fast forward to the 29th Winter Universiade and Kah will be reliving the past as both of his sons line up to compete in the short track speed skating.
The University of Melbourne’s Joshua Kah will stand side by side with his older brother Skyler (Monash University) when the short track competition commences on the 4th March.
“The more I travel to competitions around the globe, the more I find out about my dad!” said Skyler of being told of his father’s historical victory.
“Speed skating for us has always been a family activity, even today Mum, Dad, Josh and I are all part of the same club,” he continued.
Of his experience at the Winter Universaide in Italy, Danny Kah reflects on the standard of the event as well as his memorable gold medal victory in the 3000m.
“In Belluno, the short track racing was a very high standard with the best Dutch, Canadian, Japanese etc skaters in the world.
For the final day of racing the whole Aussie team that didn’t have their own event on came to cheer on my 3000m, and they brought the house down as I got away in the last laps to finish first. That you don’t forget!” said Kah, who graduated from the University of Adelaide with a BEng Civil (Hons).
Now happy for his sons to take the family mantle in the speed skating world, Kah understands what needs to be done to finish on top at an international meet like the Universiade.
“The Universiade always brings together the best athletes in the world across all Winter Sports, so with their continued improvements this season here is the opportunity to break into the top level of their sport. In the unpredictable world of Short Track racing, they will have to race well tactically, instinctively squeeze into any gap that opens up, and time their final sprint to perfection.”
With the short track team being finalised, the UniRoos contingent is complete with the inclusion of figure skaters William Badaoui (University of Technology Sydney) and Matilda Friend (Macquarie University) contesting the Ice Dance division and Queensland University of Technology’s, Amelia Jackson, competing in the individual women’s short program.
UniRoos Head of Delegation, Ian Fitzpatrick, believes the team will demonstrate the breadth and depth of winter sport talent in Australia.
”With the inclusion of figure skaters and short track athletes, the UniRoos team is a great representation of the talent Australia is developing in the winter sport arena,” said Fitzpatrick.
“I’m looking forward to supporting the team and witnessing some great competition across the event, especially by the Australians,” he added.
With the opening ceremony to take place on the 2nd March, many of the UniRoos are now overseas preparing for the competition.