THERE will be a Moree connection when Australia’s team of 50 athletes take centre stage at the Winter Olympics in South Korea this week.
Harley Windsor is the son of former Moree man, Peter Dahlstrom, who still has family in the area.
The 21-year-old ice skater will be the first indigenous athlete to compete at the Winter Games.
His mother – Josie, originally from Gunnedah – has Gamilaraay and Weilwyn ancestry and his father Peter Dahlstrom is a Gamilaraay man from Moree who also has Ngarrable ancestry.
Known as Harley Dahlstrom-Windsor in ice-skating circles, the rising young star was born at Penrith on October 22, 1996 but grew up in Rooty Hill.
His venture into the world of ice-skating came purely by chance in 2006 when he discovered an ice-skating rink in Western Sydney and asked his mother if he could try it out.
What started as a passing interest soon became an obsession for Harley as he developed his skills under the watchful eye of Russian born couple, Andrei and Galina Pachin, at Canterbury Ice Rink.
It was this Russian connection that eventually saw him paired with Russia’s Ekaterina "Katia" Alexandrovskaya who was granted Australian citizenship on October 19, 2017.
Katia didn't speak English and Harley still doesn't utter more than a few sentences of Russian, but they are celebrating their second anniversary as a pair.
They train together for half the year in Sydney, under the Pachins' supervision, and the other half in Moscow.
In Taiwan last March they stunned the figure skating world by capturing the junior title at the world championships, outperforming more fancied pairs from Russia and China to become Australia's first figure skating world champions.
In a recent interview with the ABC, Harley said he felt “surprised and honoured” to hear that he was the first Aboriginal athlete to compete at the Winter Games.
He said that none of his friends were into winter sports so he was “a bit of a branch out from everyone else”.
Harley’s aunt, Louise Morris (Peter’s sister who lives in Narrabri) said the family are very proud of him.
“We’re all very proud,” she said.
“It’s great that he’s made it there. We don’t care about medals; it’s gold him just getting there.”