It was one of the many momentous epochs for our nation when Julian Yee broke through the ice and land us at Malaysia’s first ever Winter Olympics 2018. While it is both a milestone for both our nation and Julian himself, Sevenpie had the opportunity to find out more about his overall experience at the Games, and his aspirations for figure skating in Malaysia.
1. Congratulations to you for being our country’s first ever athlete to qualify for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, as well as achieving a Season’s & Personal Best Score!
Do share with our readers about your personal, undocumented experience while you’re competing at the Olympics at Pyeongchang.
Thank you very much! The 2018 Winter Olympics was definitely a very memorable experience for me. Not only was it my first time at an Olympic Winter Games but it was also the country’s first ever time as well. Being given the honour to march in with the Jalur Gemilang at the opening ceremony was really an eye opener for me. The crowd was going wild and supporting every single flag that marched out. It was a sense of great achievement and you could definitely feel the difference from being there live as to watching it on TV.
Overall I had a blast and managed to learn a lot from other athletes across the globe. It was amazing to share a meal with other great sportsmen and witness many other different winter sports live. I would say that the Games were very well organised and we had no problem within the athletes village and venues.
Being able to compete on Olympic Ice was very special and I really did give my best. I was satisfied with what I put out that day as I managed to achieve my own personal best scores.
2. How was it like to compete with JorikHendrickx, Alexander Johnson, and the likes?
I think that competing with all these top athletes in the world is a great way to keep motivated and learn from them. I’m quite used to competing them as we’re always in the same circuits. However, every competition is always a new experience and an opportunity to learn and make memories.
3. Tell us more about your personal sentiments towards the song which you performed to during the Olympics- To Build a Home.
In my own way of interpreting the song, I feel that HOME may not be very luxurious or grand but instead is something very humble and home-like. And to me, that home is my country. Where humble beginnings are started. To show that no matter where I am, I will always feel home is where I belong.
4. After what you’ve experienced at the Winter Olympic Games, is there anything that you’d like to do differently at World Championships in Milan?
Yes, my coach and I have reviewed my skate at the Olympics and we’ve planned to touch up on certain small details before heading to the World Championships. Nothing too significantly different, but just minor improvements that we can make given the short time frame.
5. What are the things which you’ve learnt from all the athletes from around the world at the Games Village which you’ll be incorporating to your lifestyle?
6. The animated film, “Julian And His Magical Skates” has garnered more than 1 million views on YouTube alone. Now that your story is made known to a larger set of audiences, how do you cope with the endless scrutiny from the public?
I’m extremely happy with the animated film. I’m so thankful that it has garnered so much views online. Overall based on feedback from the general public in regards to the film, majority of the people were very supportive and enjoyed the short film as well. I’m glad that I was able to share my story with everyone else. I guess I’ll try to take on things step by step, like how I would normally do.
7. We’ve all heard about the obstacles which you’ve faced while trying to train professionally as a figure skater in Malaysia. Now that you’ve placed Malaysia in the world map for this sport, you’ve become an advocate to promote this sport in our home country. What are the things which you’d like to improve to provide a better training ground for aspiring figure skating athletes in Malaysia?
I think the very first step to develop and grow this sport in Malaysia would be to expose more of the public to it. To be able to spread the word and give them a chance to try it out. So of course having more Ice Rinks around the country would be a great way. And then later on, having the luxury of getting a proper training facility (Ice Rink) here in Malaysia would definitely grow and improve our skaters to achieve higher and succeed.
8. At just the age of 21, life seems to be coming full circle for you. Where do you see yourself 5 years down the road?
I would see myself finishing up my university degree as well as still being involved in the sport. I would love to give back to the community and share my knowledge with the younger generations.
9. Any life motto which you live by?
I don’t dream, I set goals.
10. Final words for your fans, friends, and family back home in Malaysia?
I would like to take this opportunity to really thank everyone out there who believed in me. Without my family, friends, fans and the nation, I would not have been where I am now. I really owe it to everyone who has put in their efforts and sacrifices. What I’ve learned is that helping others will eventually come around others will be helping you.