Their extraordinary journey – from complete strangers who lived on the opposite sides of the world, to Winter Olympians in just two years – is one that has seen the international skating fraternity sit up and take notice.
“It’s taken a while to get used to all the attention,” Windsor said. “I’m still learning how to speak to the media, how to tell my story without letting my inner bogan come out too much.”
Thankfully there was no sign of that ‘inner bogan’ when the team took to the ice for their first Olympic practice session today - a light session that saw their remarkable unison on display once more.
“It was pretty good today,” Alexandrovskaya said. “We did what we wanted. It was good.”
And, it’s been good since the start of the couple’s unlikely pairing in Moscow, at a trial session set up by Windsor’s coaches.
“I was ready to quit when I suddenly got a call saying there were some partners available in Russia,” Windsor said. “Within a week I had my Visa and flew over there. I had no idea what to expect but I wanted to give my skating career one more chance.”
“I was meant to try out with three different girls, but I trialled with Katia first and I knew I didn’t need to try with any others,” Windsor said. “We just clicked straight away.”
But their staggering rise through the ranks – which saw them claim the Junior World Championship Title in Taipai last year – hasn’t been without a lot of hard work, sweat, and tears.
“At first I found the move to pairs skating really hard,” Windsor said. “I was a singles skater before, and I really didn’t have the muscle strength for it.”
“For the first three months I’d finish training and just be completely exhausted. There was one day I tried to drive myself home and I was so tired I couldn’t even lift my arms to hold the steering wheel.”
“And I’ve never trained so hard before. Some days we do seventeen run throughs of things. Katia likes working hard, she’s used to training really intensely. It’s been a lot of work.”
But there’s no doubt the work has paid off, with the pair ready to make their Olympic debut, and Windsor set to etch his name into the history books – as the first Indigenous Winter Olympian.
“I really want to be a role model,” the 21-year-old said. “My Aboriginal heritage is part of who I am and I’m really proud of that. It will always be a part of me.”
And, while the young team are keeping their goal – a top 12 finish – realistic for this Games, Windsor says there’s no limit to how far this unlikely pairing might go.
“I think we will definitely have another one or two Olympics in us, and we will be aiming for a Grand Prix medal and maybe even an Olympic medal one day. This is just the start for us.”
Windsor and Alexandrovskaya compete their short program on Day 5 (February 14).