Girdwood figure skater Keegan Messing is headed to South Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympics soon.
But first, he stopped by the Alaska State Capitol.
The 25-year-old, who was just named to the Canadian Olympic figure skating team on Sunday, traveled to the capital city Friday, where he met Gov. Bill Walker and a Canadian consulate. Later in the day, Rep. Jennifer Johnston, R-Anchorage, introduced Messing on the House of Representatives floor, eliciting a round of applause from lawmakers.
Messing holds dual-citizenship in both the United States and Canada. After years of competing as an American, Messing began skating for Canada during the 2014-15 season.
“I feel like because I am born and raised in Alaska and the relationship between Alaska and Canada, I feel very confident that I can very proudly represent Alaska as well as Canada,” Messing said.
The announcement came the day after Messing’s second-place finish in the senior mens division at the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Vancouver, British Colombia.
And while legislators may have never heard of him before Friday, members of the Juneau Skating Club certainly have.
For eight of the last nine years, Messing has been a guest skater at the club’s annual spring show. Messing enjoys doing local shows around the state.
“I try to build skating up and I try to build it because it’s something I love and something that is fun and has lessons you can learn and put into your life at any point in time,” Messing said.
The Winter Olympics begin Feb. 9 in Pyeongchang County.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.