Windsor calls on skaters to get educated
February 11, 2018
Article from AAP. Reported by Warren Barnsley.
Harley Windsor wouldn't prevent another figure skater using elements of his culture in their dance routines but wants people to understand the meanings behind them.
Windsor is set to become Australia's first indigenous Winter Olympian when he competes in pairs with Russian-born Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya in PyeongChang next week.
Figure skating received negative attention in Australia when a Russian pair in Vancouver appropriated Aboriginal culture for their routine, including plastic leaves and seemingly randomly painted white markings.
Other routines four years ago saw Germans acting like Hawaiians, Chinese as Greeks and Canadians passing themselves off as Spaniards.
Windsor, who has been schooled in Aboriginal culture from an early age, has encouraged education before skaters add elements outside their culture in their routines.
"Maybe just even give people more knowledge and rather do a bit more research into it," the 21-year-old told AAP in PyeongChang.
"In skating, there's a lot of variety. You should be able to explore different cultures and musical tastes.
"But I feel like when you do a different sort of culture or musical theme, I feel like you need to do a bit of research into it.
"And if you're at the top level especially, have someone with good knowledge behind it and know how to do choreography and costume."
While his routines in PyeongChang won't include Koori elements, Windsor would "absolutely" consider immersing his heritage into future dances with Alexandrovskaya.
But he would not take that decision lightly.
"We'll have to see how things go," he said.
"We have our choreographers and we need to find stuff that suits us and our skating style and how we develop and mature and what fits us best.
"It's not a matter of just picking this and that and just skating to it.
'It'll be sitting down for at least a month figuring out music and programs."
The western Sydney product's history-making Olympics appearance has been of significant interest to Australian and international press in South Korea.
He is concerned by neither his heritage taking the focus from his athletic achievements nor whether the attention will distract him from competition.
Not even a maiden overseas performance in front of his family has him turning off his focus.
"Once I'm at the rink and in my zone, then I don't really pay much attention to what's going on around me," he said.