Following the journey of a young figure skater - Jorik Hendrickx

January 21, 2012
By Mireille Geurts aided by Joy & Titia Tolsma
Photos © Joy & MG

Part 2

Skating in the family

As mentioned before, it was the second year for him to participate in Kevin Van Der Perren's show, Ice Fantillusion. The year before, he and Jelle and Ruben were the young boys, running around having fun, sleeping over at one of the show participants/organizers, wherever there was space.

This year it was all a bit different. Everyone's older. Ruben's not there, because he's injured. Jelle was there but worrying about his own injury.

"Last year we trained more together before Ice Fantillusion, which really created a family atmosphere. This year that wasn't possible, because I'd been away from school so much, and I stayed over here too then, now I go home to sleep."

His little sister, Loena, performed in the show this year as well.

"Of course it is fun that my little sister can skate here as well. She met all the requirements, which is being on the podium of the Belgian Nationals. And she won all her comps last year. But for me being at the show now, it is different, having to keep an eye on her, guide her a little, I feel responsible. Not that I mind, I am happy for her."

The skating talent runs in the family.

"Yeah, if she trains hard. For me it is a bit double though. I wasn't able to go to a better coach until I was 10 years old, and I always wondered how I would be doing if that had happened sooner. My sister can do this now, so I push her a bit; I think she can be really good. On the floor she already does a double Axel with ease, but on the ice it doesn't work as well yet. I always get comments that I push her too much, perhaps because we are both in skating. Sometimes I think I want her to grow up too fast. In the show, I think the audience finds her convincing. Yesterday I asked if she shouldn't practice the group number a little more, and then I had to put the song (Telephone) on a million times... I can't stand it anymore!" *laughs*

Cosmic punishment?
At Ice Fantillusion, he put his own program together: mixing up his short program with other music and such. Skating for him isn't just the jumps.

"No, you can't only jump for 2 hours straight. *laughs* I like to make a program complete with steps and spins, adding something special to them. Using original music that speaks to me, but also to my coach, the audience and the judges. It's hard to find a good piece."


Be Prepared - Jorik Hendrickx
Video of one of his performances at the show, mixed with a group-performance. Jorik in the role of Scar, Kevin as Simba, as illustrated by their fight at the end.

Thermal underwear

The season of 2010/2011 was the last season Jorik was allowed to skate in the Junior Grand Prix events. He got sent to Austria and Dresden where he ended up 7th and 6th respectively. Later that season he came 5th in the NRW Trophy; steadily moving upwards. This also marks the year he included a triple-triple combination in his free program.

And then back to that championship in Bern, mentioned in the intro. Jorik had to skate the new qualifications, and won them. How did he experience this?

"Actually? Frightening. Of course it did give me a great feeling, but I felt much more pressure with the short program after that. In training the triple-triple combination went well, but during the short, all the jumps were stiff and I didn't 'attack the combination'. It was all insecure and I turned it into a triple-double. I did get 13th place, but to be honest, I didn't really understand why.
I really felt like I had to prove I was worthy, worthy of winning the qualification."

Of course this was also the championships where it was awfully cold in the arena, and Jorik was officially quoted to have been wearing thermal underwear, and thus ending up being too hot at the end of his program. Here media attention started to bloom.

"I had an interview with the Dutch commentators of Eurosport. Javier Fernandez had forgotten his sport shoes, I had told the commentator before the interview that Javier now was training with mine. And he had understood I said the skates. So when he skated badly [he fell a few times, even during the step sequence] he thought it was because of my skates." *laughs*

"My second European Championships did differ from the first in Tallinn, where I was truly nervous. Everybody did triple-triple combinations and I didn't, it was very overwhelming This time I was better prepared. I had had a good season, I knew how things went and what to expect, even though the preliminaries were new. My focus was very much on the short program. But I must say it was very tiring, I got exhausted! I arrived on Saturday, the qualification was on Monday and after that the short program. I was tired already and it was hard to do the free program, because of very fast acidosis of my muscles.
I did better at Worlds, even though the qualification went less well there. The short program was okay, but the free; I wasn't able to do it any better at that time."

Yes, Jorik got to go to Worlds too, for the first time. This was the championships that would take place in Japan, where the Tsunami disaster stroke, they got postponed and moved to Russia.

"Unfortunately I wasn't in shape at all. I was exhausted, had no energy left anymore. I started real early this season. Then came Euros and Junior Worlds, but before Worlds I had to do the Flemish Championships because our federation didn't think Worlds would still take place. But then it did. We had to make a whole new adjusted 'split up' schedule. I had no ice here in Turnhout, thus I trained a lot in Den Bosch. I think it helped.

At Worlds when I was through the qualification to the Short Program, my coach pushed me to go for the triple-triple combination, even though it wouldn't feel right. That way I would learn mentally to go for it. I did the same at Junior Worlds as I did at Euros, turned the combination into triple-double, while I was in top-shape there."

Go to part 3 for the rest of Joriks journey: Firsts but also lasts, Blade Phobia & the Bruce Lee Story

Ice Fantillusion 2010


Copyright © 2004 - 2024, Absolute Skating
All rights reserved.