Redding's Brooklee Han Skates To 20th Place In Olympic Debut

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Brooklee Han, a Redding teen who competes for Australia, emotes during her Long Program at the Sochi Olympics on Thursday. Photo Credit: Sochi2014.com

REDDING, Conn. -- Redding's Brooklee Han completed her Olympic journey with an elegant free skate and a 20th place finish for Australia in figure skating on Thursday in Sochi, Russia. 

Han, who was the second skater to take to the ice on Thursday, was in 22nd place after earning 49.32 points for her short program Wednesday. Her free program earned 94.52 points Thursday for a total score of 143.84, moving her up two places.

“I felt pretty confident going out onto the ice,” Han said in an interview with the Australian Olympic Team website. “The past few weeks of training have been really solid. The program’s been running really well, and this morning my practices session was pretty good. So I felt confident and ready to go."

Han had one fall in the program, her only big mistake in her two skates at the Olympics. She skated to the soundtrack of the Taiwanese movie "Secret" for her free skate. 

“I’m disappointed with the fall on that. I think I was a bit off balance a little too much inside and I wasn’t able to hold onto it, but I was able to move on well and do a pretty good rest of the program," she was quoted as saying.

Doug Mattis, a professional ice skating coach based in Las Vegas, praised Han's skate via Twitter. "Much improvement! Elegant & more mature. Nice job!" he said. 

Han, an 18-year-old graduate of Joel Barlow High School who has dual citizenship in the United States and Australia, says she will savor her Olympic experience.

“Representing Australia at the Olympic Games is something that I have wanted to do since I was very little so finally being able to actualize that dream and skate is incredible,” she said.

In the ladies figure skating event, Adelina Sotnikova of Russia won gold, Yuna Kim of Korea got silver and Carolina Kostner of Italy took bronze. For the U.S., Gracie Gold finished fourth, Ashley Wagner was seventh and Polina Edmunds came in ninth. For full results, check the Sochi2014.com website.

Han is expected to skate next at the World Championships in Japan in March. 

Cheltzie Lee, who skated for Australia at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, also finished in 20th place. 

Read more from Han at the Australian Olympic Team website here

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