Liam Kapeikis’ Grand Prix dreams come true at Skate America – Figure Skaters Online
Pictures of Robin Ritoss
When Team USA’s Liam Kapeikis takes to the ice at the Skating Club of Boston next week to compete at Skate America, he’ll be making his senior Grand Prix debut, which he’s been dreaming about for a while.
“Receiving a Grand Prix has been a long-time goal for me,” said the 18-year-old. Inline figure skaters. “When I learned that I had been assigned to Skate America, I was shocked, but also very proud of the work I had put in to achieve this goal.”
Kapeikis took his first steps on the ice at the age of two. At first, like most kids his age, Kapeikis played hockey. At the age of seven, he began to focus on figure skating.
Until the age of 15, the native of Wenatchee, Washington, was coached by his parents, Paul and Louise Kapeikis, both figure skaters who met while on tour with disney on ice.
After completing his novice season in 2019, Kapeikis moved his training to Richmond, British Columbia, Canada to work full-time with former Canadian figure skater Keegan Murphy and the Connaught Skating Club coaching staff.
“Keegan is 120% committed to my skating success,” Kapeikis said of his coach. “He brings structure and responsibility to my daily training.”
Although he is no longer his head coach, Kapeikis says his parents are still part of his coaching staff. Paul Kapeikis, who is a chiropractic physician and maintains a private practice in Wenatchee, is helping his son recover and rehabilitate. However, Kapeikis said his parents have now taken a more low-key approach in coaching him.
“Their role as parents is what’s most important right now,” he remarked.
When he moved his training north of the border, Kapeikis chose to continue living in Washington State. Although the daily commute to the rink isn’t long, it became a challenge for Kapeikis during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. When the rinks were closed, Kapeikis said Murphy and the team d coaches kept everyone well trained. the use of off-ice Zoom courses. He also keeps in touch with his training mates through weekly social calls.
Once the rinks reopened, Kapeikis and his mother entered Canada and completed a 14-day quarantine before he could resume his on-ice training. Then, for the next two years, Kapeikis stayed with his family in Canada so he could stay in the country for his training.
Although he doesn’t train at home, Kapeikis says it’s not that different from what his fellow American athletes experience back home.
“Training is training,” he said. “At the Connaught Skating Club we have many international athletes. There are a variety of different competition schedules within our club. My training mates are all very supportive of each other.
Kapeikis’ two junior seasons included appearing at a Junior Grand Prix event in Latvia in 2019, representing Team USA at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics and winning a bronze medal at the 2020 USA Championships.
In the fall of 2021, Kapeikis made the jump to the upper ranks. In January, he finished seventh at his first senior national championships. That spring, Kapeikis made his senior international debut at the Egna Spring Trophy in Italy, winning the bronze medal and also earning his senior minimum technical score.
“I learned a lot through this experience which helped me and gave me confidence for the Philadelphia Summer International,” he said.
At the Philadelphia Summer International in August, which marked the start of Kapeikis’ 2022–23 season, Kapeikis kicked things off by winning the gold medal, his second senior international medal.
“It was great to skate in a senior international event in my home country,” he exclaimed.
This season, Kapeikis skates his short program to the music of Zorro Maskand kept his skating free to the music of red Mill! of the 2021-2022 season.
“These two pieces of music were chosen by my choreographers (Joey Russell and Keegan Murphy) because they showcase my personality on the ice and contrast well with each other,” Kapeikis explained.
This summer, Kapeikis also attended his first Champs Camp, a performance-based camp for athletes competing in the Senior Grand Prix Series.
“My first Champs Camp was great!” he pronounced. “I am so grateful for the opportunity thatgave me to participate in this elite camp. Everyone at camp was extremely helpful. The judges and technical specialists didn’t make any major changes to my programs, but they helped me fine-tune what I already had.
In September, Kapeikis made his Challenger Series debut at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany. He finished in eighth place, but improved his Philadelphia scores.
“The Nebelhorn Trophy was great fun and helped me prepare for Skate America,” he remarked. “I think my skating there was adequate for the start of the season. I hope to see improvements at each competition as the season progresses.
Since returning from Germany, Kapeikis said he’s been working on clean programs and regularly getting his quad Salchow for Skate America.
“At Skate America, I hope to show up at the Grand Prix stage and show that I have the ability to be competitive in this group,” he said. “I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to skate against some amazing skaters and to be able to gain experience at such a prestigious event.”
This season, Kapeikis hopes to climb the ranks of the world rankings in order to win two Grands Prix next season. He also hopes to step onto the podium at the 2023 U.S. Championships in January. Going forward, Kapeikis aims to make the 2026 U.S. Olympic team.
When he’s not skating, Kapeikis enjoys biking and skiing. He also devotes a lot of time to photography and also plays with his dog, Icy.
Kapeikis calls himself “tri-citizenas he holds citizenship of three countries – the United States, Canada and Great Britain. His mother was born in Great Britain and obtained Canadian citizenship after moving to Canada. Despite this fact, Kapeikis does not has no intention of skating for another federation.
“I started my skating career with USA Figure Skating and had many great experiences with USA Figure Skating and Team USA,” he remarked. “I have no intention of changing my competitive skating to represent another federation.”
Kapeikis has two sisters; both are skaters. Her older sister, Kaela, is following in her parents’ footsteps, traveling as a lead skater with disney on ice for eight years. Her younger sister, Danika, is currently in her third year of medical school at Keele University in England. Along with her grandmother, Kapeikis said her sisters were her biggest supporters.
Earlier this year, Kapeikis graduated from Washington Connections Academy. He would like to attend a university to study mechanical engineering. He is also interested in aviation. Although he is not currently attending college, Kapeikis is looking to find a program that will fit his training schedule.
Kapeikis is focused on Skate America right now and will be competing in front of a sold-out crowd at the Skating Club in Boston next week.
“I am delighted that my first Grand Prix will be Skate America because I know I will receive great support from the public at this event.