No Xanadu for Buccan skater

ROLLERSKATERS bumped from the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony moments before their entrance will throw themselves into preparations for the World Championships in Paris in October.

The girls knew the act would be cancelled if rain made the stage glassy and had some inkling of troubles ahead when cheerleaders and dancers complained of slippery conditions.

“I was so disappointed,” said Jennifer Schneider, 17, of rural Buccan. 

CANCELLATION: Amy Browne and Jennifer Schneider in hair and makeup behind the scenes of the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony.

CANCELLATION: Amy Browne and Jennifer Schneider in hair and makeup behind the scenes of the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony.

Jennifer and fellow skater Amy Browne, of the Gold Coast, have both battled odds to be on skates.

Jennifer is fighting a rare brain cancer while Amy is back on her feet after surgery to correct a hip injury.

The pair, who train at Runaway Bay, were to perform to Xanadu, the 1980s dance floor hit made famous by Australian singer Olivia Newton-John.

Rivals in the rink and friends off, the two rink-hopped across southeast Queensland for top secret practise sessions that not even their friends knew about.

ROLLER ANGELS: Jennifer Schneider and Amy Browne with their coach Leigh Joplin. Photo: Supplied

ROLLER ANGELS: Jennifer Schneider and Amy Browne with their coach Leigh Joplin. Photo: Supplied

Jennifer was poised as a 16-year-old to compete in the world championships when she was diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma, a rare and aggressive brain cancer that affects just 0.44 per in 100,000 people.

Surgeons cut out a brain tumour and she was on chemotherapy and radiation therapy as she made her first tentative steps back into skating.

Amy was 14 when she first competed in the world championships.

“These are girls who deserve to be treated like role models for young Australians coming through the sport,” said Jennifer’s mother Debbie.

“They work hard, give it their all and nothing seems to daunt them. Either one of them could have given up on skating yet here they are.”

The girls spent most of Sunday in lockdown. There was no rain. Organisers made the call at 10.10pm. Damp and glitter on stage was a skating hazard.

Their’s was not the only controversy. Channel 7 disowned its telecast after athletes left during speeches.

STAR QUALITY: Amy Browne and Jennifer Schneider snapped ahead of their trip to the Commonwealth Games for the closing ceremony. Photo: Supplied

STAR QUALITY: Amy Browne and Jennifer Schneider snapped ahead of their trip to the Commonwealth Games for the closing ceremony. Photo: Supplied

Co-hosts Joh Griggs and Basil Zempilas used their last cross to apologise to viewers. They said the decision to cut athletes arrivals from the broadcast was not made the network but by the host broadcaster.

“I’ve never seen a stadium empty so quickly,” said Griggs.

Amy and Jennifer, meanwhile, will throw themselves into preparations for upcoming competitions that include the Queensland titles at Mount Warren Park in May, nationals in Perth in June and worlds in October.

First Jennifer will complete her last chemo treatment on Wednesday.

 “I don’t know how she’s done it,” Mrs Schneider said.