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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Fate to skate: WJ skater medals for US at Youth Olympics

Sophomore+Dylan+Cain+competes+with+his+partner+at+the+2024+Youth+Olympics.+The+two+have+been+skating+together+since+2015.++
Courtesy Dylan Cain
Sophomore Dylan Cain competes with his partner at the 2024 Youth Olympics. The two have been skating together since 2015.

Restlessly awaiting the end of his older sister’s figure skating practice, sophomore Dylan Cain was drawn to the ice at the age of four. By the time he was six, his mom signed him up to learn basic skating skills. Cain progressed quickly, allowing him to compete internationally in Istanbul and Budapest early in his career. After years of hard work and dedication, Cain won two silver medals for the United States at the 2024 Youth Olympics in Gangwon, South Korea last month.

Cain earned second place in both the individual event and the team event at the Youth Olympics. His partner in the team event, Olivia Ilin, has been in the same practice group as Cain since 2014 and they were taught the same foundational skating techniques.

“Having spent so much time together, we know each other pretty well and have a sibling-like relationship. We have a lot of pride and respect for one another,” Cain said.

Cain and Ilin were destined to skate together as they were both looking for a partner at the same time. When they clicked instantly it was decided that the two of them would become a pair.

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“I think that we both just really wanted to skate together, so we started playing around with program ideas and that’s when our coaches paired us together,” Ilin said.

Although this is the first year that Cain and Ilin were eligible to compete at the international junior level events because of age, this is the pair’s third year of competing abroad for Team USA.

“It was a great honor to compete twice on the Junior Grand Prix circuit this past season, traveling to events in Istanbul, Turkey and Budapest, Hungary. At 14 and 15, we are currently the youngest ice dance team in the US international selection pool. Over the past three years, I got to travel to five different countries. Having previously competed in Germany and Italy, and adding South Korea onto that list after coming back from the Youth Olympics,” Cain said.

Competing at this level in high school requires Cain to maintain a large amount of discipline. Before he even steps foot at WJ he has already been awake for three hours. He skates in the morning from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. and then goes back to the rink after school until mid evening.

“What keeps me motivated is that I genuinely enjoy all of my classes. I can’t imagine how I would keep up with everything if I had to force myself to learn about material I did not care about,” Cain said.

Cain’s future remains uncertain but for the time being he hopes to conserve the love that he has for the sport.

“We cannot predict the future, but we keep pushing forward each season at a time, for the love of the sport, regardless of the medals or milestones,” Cain said.

Dylan Cain’s sister, senior Claire Cain, has been a part of his skating career since the very beginning. She still shows him the same amount of love and support that she has since day one.

“I am super proud of him! It’s been amazing watching him skate all these years. I wish him continued success in the future, and hopefully another Olympics if that’s what he wants for himself,” Claire Cain said.

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Elizabeth Finn, Print Managing Editor
Junior Elizabeth Finn is a Print Managing Editor in her third year on The Pitch. Outside of The Pitch, Elizabeth runs for the cross country and track team at WJ.
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