Sheffield’s PJ Hallam uses Stockholm honour to fuel Beijing Winter Olympics desire

PJ Hallam is to use the experience of competing at a second world championships as fuel for his bid for an Olympic debut.

HIGH AIMS: PJ Hallam is targetting the Winter Olympics in Beijing next year. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

The 25-year-old figure skater from Sheffield finished 30th in the men’s competition at the ISU World Championships in Stockholm at the weekend.

He was Britain’s sole representative in the championships, and as national champion, the second time he has had the honour of skating for his country. But given the year he has had, merely making it that far was an accomplishment.

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“I was all set for last year’s world championships in Montreal,” said Hallam, of the postponed 2020 championships.

“I was in peak condition so it was frustrating that they were cancelled.

“Being selected for the worlds in Stockholm was another great honour and it was a phenomenal experience, it was just a pity I wasn’t at the top of my game.”

The multiple Covid-enforced lockdowns have hit Hallam hard, forcing him to use rinks in Scotland, Bradford and Nottingham, as well as his base at iceSheffield - who made him an ambassador to ensure he would get ice time - to prepare.

With restrictions hopefully now a thing of the past, Hallam is hoping a full off-season of practice this year will prepare him for the biggest stage of all, the Winter Olympics in Beijing next February.

“This latest world championship experience has made me really hungry to push for the Olympics,” said Hallam.

The path to achieving his dream is by no means certain. In September, Hallam is favourite to represent Britain at an event in Germany when nations will qualify their spot for the Games.

Then later this year he will contest the British Championships to determine who gets that Olympic place.

“It’s double the pressure,” said Hallam, “but all part of the game and I’m excited by where a full training schedule can put me.”

Hallam, who does not receive funding and has to coach juniors to help pay his way on the international scene, has set up a GoFundMe page (gofund.me/d01b5da9) to raise the £15,000 he believes will help him on his journey to Beijing.

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