Keegan Messing performs heartfelt gala tribute to late brother at Skate America
Paxon Messing, 26, died in a motorcycle crash in September
It's been an emotional weekend for Canada's Keegan Messing.
Less than a month ago, the Sherwood Park, Alta., native lost his younger brother, Paxon, when an SUV collided with the 26-year-old's motorcycle.
Steeling himself with a series of deep breaths to reign in his emotions, Messing began his performance by carrying a photo of his brother to centre ice.
“Going out there and skating, it was kind of like a last goodbye.”<br><br>Keegan Messing skated a beautiful tribute in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SkateAmerica?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SkateAmerica</a> gala.<br><br>The Canadian’s younger brother, Paxon, was killed in a motorcycle accident last month and the skate was dedicated to his memory. <a href="https://t.co/2a4tZ8Qs2M">pic.twitter.com/2a4tZ8Qs2M</a>—@olympicchannel
Skating to Here I Am by Bryan Adams, Messing brought the audience to its feet with his artistry and athleticism.
With tears streaming down his face, he then concluded his performance by taking hold of his heart and kneeling beside his brother's photo.
WATCH | Keegan Messing's tear-filled tribute to his recently lost brother:
"Coming here this week was a huge decision for me with everything that's happened," said Messing prior to the competition, in which he placed fourth with a total score of 239.34.
"Just being on the ice the last few weeks has been one of the most difficult things that I've had to do. I've just tried to stay physically prepared, rely on my training and be able to put out a performance like that."
Messing, however, began the competition with an equally emotional tribute, debuting his new short program — which he specifically made for this new wife Lane, who he married over the summer.
"For her to be here to see it was very special to me. I have some great support here with me. My wife's here, both my parents and some very close friends for support. Honestly, I couldn't ask for a better situation ... I've got some good people so I'm feeling pretty good," Messing said.
WATCH | Messing debuts his new short program: