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How to become an olympic figure skater

The glitz and glamor of the figure skaters as they skim across the ice at the Winter Olympics may dazzle, but audiences are witnessing the culmination of years of training — and, for elite competitors, a truly spectacular price tag. Between costumes, training, custom skates, choreography and other elements, being an Olympian in figure skating, or simply competing at an elite level, is a substantial financial commitment — one that supportive families and clubs can spend a fortune attempting to accommodate. The amount of money it can cost to become an Olympic figure skater can be seriously mind-boggling.

The most obvious area of impressive expense, for the public viewer at least, is the costumes — which don’t come cheap. An investigation by The Gloss in 2014 found that all costumes for Olympic skaters are, by and large, custom-made — unsurprisingly, as it’s not a good look to be in the same outfit as somebody else. According to the Gloss, elite-level costumes from designers can cost between $500 and $5,000, and skaters have two costumes, one for their short program and one for their long (and that’s not counting spare costumes, in case one rips or gets dirty). They tend to need new costumes every year, too. Those spangles and sparkles are often applied by hand. And the performance “look” for female skaters in particular also involves make-up and hair, which at the elite level is usually applied professionally.

And then there are the skates. Estimates differ, but it’s thought that custom skate boots, which are pretty standard at Olympic level, can be between $1,000 and $1,500 a pair, and competitors can wear them out annually — and that’s not counting the cost of sharpening and maintaining them monthly.

Equipment, however, is only the beginning. In an investigation of the costs behind Winter Olympic sports careers, Forbes points out that virtually all Olympic-level figure skaters start as children, meaning years of lessons, private tuition, practice time, competition fees and other expenses. Forbes notes that elite-level figure skaters will likely have reached their peak with a price tag of around $100,000 on their past training and skating life.

Because of the significant investment, a wealthy — or at least financially stable — background is pretty necessary. Stories abound of supportive parents remortgaging homes, cutting down on expenses for other children, and making some extreme financial decisions to be able to afford the cost of sending an elite-level figure skater all the way to the top, and hopefully to the Olympics. Mike Slipchuck, director of Skate Canada, told the CBC that even as a low-level competitor, annual costs can reach $10,000 annually — but that the number could also rise to $30,000. If you reach Team USA, funding is provided and financial aid is also offered, but that’s an elite pinnacle.

Once you reach the Olympics, expenses start to pile up, because the best choreographers, musicians, coaches and other elements of a successful competition come at a price. Every competition cycle requires a new routine, and getting the rights to music and coming up with new moves adds up on the balance sheet. Scott Hamilton, who won Olympic figure skating gold in 1984, told the Huffington Post that “I’ve heard everything from $25,000 to $80,000 a year. It can get out of control.”

It’s important to remember that being an Olympian doesn’t immediately translate into financial success — in fact, far from it. Olympians can often encounter financial trouble, particularly after they retire from their sports, and only a select few of very lucky or very successful team members will attract sponsorships and advertising deals. Catch the public imagination or walk away with a medal and you may be rewarded, but it’s in no way guaranteed. Prize money is available at other competitions, but in the Olympics you do it just for the glory — and the gold.

Being an Olympian of any kind is an extraordinary sacrifice, not only for the athletes themselves but for their families and support networks. And when you’re watching Team USA take to the ice in PyeongChang, it’s worth remembering that they’ve got there through years of very, very expensive work.

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

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How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

If you’re the parent of a young, would-be figure skater and are wondering if skating is a feasible hobby or more, it might help you to know how much time and money fulfilling the child’s skating dream would require. Here are estimates of the time and cost of figure skating, broken down by skating level:

Beginning Skaters

Learn-to-skate classes involve skating once a week for 30 to 45 minutes.

  • The cost of learn-to-skate classes is usually paid in a series. Charging $100 for 10 weekly group lessons is common at many ice arenas.
  • Skate rental is usually included in the learn-to-skate lesson tuition.
  • Some beginning skaters go back to the rink once or twice a week to practice for another hour or two. The cost for additional practice sessions ranges from $5 to $10 per hour, but some ice arenas include a free practice session with group lesson tuition.
  • No practice clothing must be purchased at this level.

Serious Recreational Figure Skaters

Serious recreational skaters usually practice two to four days a week for an hour or two total.

  • The cost of each hour of practice ranges from $5 to $15.
  • Recreational figure skaters usually take one to two private skating lessons per week, which range from $20 to $50 for 20 to 30 minutes of private, one-on-one skating instruction.
  • Serious recreational skaters own their own figure skates. Acceptable figure skates for recreational figure skaters range from $150 to $300.
  • Skate sharpening is $10 to $20 and should be done every two months.
  • Practice clothing for skating is essential; basic skating attire costs $30 to $50.
  • Some recreational skaters compete in basic skills, Ice Skating Institute, nonqualifying, and test track skating competitions and take figure skating tests or participate in skating recitals and shows, which increase skating practice time and costs.
  • Out-of-town recreational skating competitions have travel costs. Most figure skating coaches charge for extra expenses and lessons related to competitions.

Synchronized Skaters

Synchronized skaters usually skate at least two to three days a week, sometimes more.

  • Some serious recreational skaters join synchronized skating teams that charge yearly tuition for ice time, instruction, costume costs, warm-up suits or uniforms, and travel expenses.
  • Estimated cost for synchronized skating is $2,000 to $3,000 per year per skater, usually paid in monthly installments.
  • Ice Skating Institute’s (ISI) recreational synchronized skating teams usually practice together once a week for 30 to 45 minutes, so the cost of ISI synchronized skating is much less, approximately $15 to $25 a week.

Social Ice Dancers

Social ice dancers may skate once or twice a week with friends.

  • They take at least one private lesson a week with an ice dance coach and may attend ice dance weekends once or twice a year.
  • Ice dance weekends cost $300 to $400, which includes two nights in a hotel, meals, socializing, and a lot of social ice time and dancing on and off the ice. (Airfare is not included.) Social ice dancers are usually adult figure skaters, but some children and teens participate in social ice dancing.

Test-Only Figure Skaters

At the lower figure skating test levels (pre-preliminary and preliminary), test-only skaters can accomplish much by skating three to four days a week for just an hour and taking one to two private lessons a week.

  • Each hour of practice costs $5 to $15.
  • Private lessons cost $20 to $50 for 20 to 30 minutes of instruction.
  • As the skater’s test level increases, figure skaters who decide to complete all U.S. figure skating tests and work toward a “gold medal” skate at least two 45-minute sessions per day, five days a week, and usually have at least one private lesson each day.
  • At the advanced skating levels, higher quality boots and blades are required. A suitable pair of skates for a test-only skater costs $500 to $1,000.
  • Skate sharpening prices range from $15 to $25. Skates should be sharpened about every five weeks.
  • Test fees, music editing fees, and skating test clothes—tights, laces, and practice skating clothes—add to the costs.

Preliminary Through Juvenile Competitive Figure Skaters

Preliminary through juvenile figure skating competitors usually skate at least two 45-minute freestyle practice sessions per day, five days a week, and have at least one private lesson a day.

  • Boots and blades cost $300 to $900 at these levels, and skate sharpening is needed monthly, $15 to $25.
  • There will be test fees, music editing fees, competition clothes, practice clothes, ballet and dance lessons, off-ice conditioning and stretching instruction, competition travel costs, etc.
  • The total estimated cost per year of a preliminary to juvenile’s skater’s training is $7,000 to $10,000.

Intermediate Through Senior and Elite Competitive Figure Skaters

Intermediate levels and above require at least three to four 45-minute practice sessions per day, five to six days a week, but skaters at these levels commonly skate and train much more.

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

  • Figure skating is one of the most glamorous sports in the Winter Olympics — but it’s not cheap.
  • Figure skaters are required to spend money on elaborate costumes, private coaches, skates, travel, physical therapy, and more.
  • It can cost between $35,000 and $50,000 a year, if not more.

Figure skating is one of the most popular sports in the Winter Olympics. But just how much does it actually cost to become an Olympic figure skater?

It turns out that dedication, perseverance, and a pretty costume do not a successful Olympian make: skaters have to shell out an insane amount of cash — between $35,000 and $50,000 annually — to even qualify for the Olympics, let alone take home the gold.

So where does all the money go? Let’s break it down.

Practice time and private lessons

Intermediate skaters and above will require — at minimum — three to four 45-minute practice sessions per day, about six times a week. Olympian skaters are likely training for longer, and Money, after interviewing skaters’ families, estimates that private coaching fees range from $65 to $120 per hour.

Calculate in the costs of supplemental coaches and choreographers, which can run between $1,500 to $5,000 annually for a single program, per Money, and you’re already spending well over $1,000 a week just to train.

Costumes, skates, and beauty

While handmade outfits were the norm back in the day, these days most skaters solicit high-end designers to create their showstopping costumes. These can cost anywhere between $500 and $5000, with The Gloss estimating the median price for an Olympic dress to be around $3,000 — and that’s not including skates, which can set you back around $1,000 to $1,500 at the Olympic level.

Unfortunately for competitors, skates and costumes aren’t recyclable. It’s standard for Olympians to wear out their skates annually, and that’s not to mention the price of upkeep; skating blades need to be sharpened, and laces need to be maintained.

Finally, figure skaters often choose to shell out cash for professional hair and makeup services, which run between $90-$140 per application.

Travel and miscellaneous costs

Airfare isn’t cheap, and skaters are not only tasked with flying themselves out to various arenas and venues to compete, but often will end up paying for their coach’s travel expenses as well, which can cost up to $10,000 per year. Per Money, many skaters will also spring for regular physical therapy and massages to ensure that they’re at optimal capacity, which can run up to $350 per session.

Also important to note is that most Olympic skaters begin their careers extremely early — and the costs rack up every year. United States competitor Bradie Tennell recently shared an Instagram throwback of her second competition; she was six years old. Now, 14 years worth of private lessons and countless pairs of outgrown skates later, she’s competing at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Want more? Read all of our coverage of the Winter Olympics here.

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You’ll need a rink, a coach, a meal plan, and a daily schedule

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

With the right mindset, all young figure skaters can train like Olympians do, but a number of steps are involved. These include finding a place to train and a coach to train with, preparing a schedule and a balanced meal plan, and setting realistic but ambitious goals. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

Find a Place to Train

First, you must find a place to train on the ice. Not all ice arenas are the same. Some rinks may be only for recreational skating or for ice hockey, while other rinks may be geared especially for figure skating. They will have coaches on staff who are able to take an ice skater all the way from the beginning stages of the sport to the elite level.

Find an Accomplished Coach

Finding the right coach is essential, and many people believe that only those who teach skating full time can make champions. Look for a coach who is patient, professional, and passionate about molding and teaching young skaters.

Taking one or two private lessons a week is important. One private lesson per day is ideal, but private ice skating instruction is expensive, so that might not be possible for many skaters.

Set a Schedule

Ice skating is a skill that involves much practice. Figure skaters with Olympic dreams need to practice every day for at least three to four hours. Ballet and off-ice conditioning and training are also recommended.

A good sample daily schedule is:

  • 4:30 a.m.: Wake up, get dressed, and eat a light breakfast.
  • 5:30 a.m.: Arrive at the rink to do off-ice training and jumping.
  • 6 and 6:45 a.m.: Skate and practice two 45-minute freestyle sessions.
  • 7:30 a.m.: Leave the rink and head to school.
  • 3 p.m.: Return to the rink and do more off-ice training and jumping.
  • 3:30 and 4:15 p.m.: Skate and practice two 45-minute freestyle sessions.
  • 5:15 p.m.: Take a ballet class or participate in an off-ice workout.
  • 6 p.m.: Eat dinner.
  • 6:45 p.m.: Do homework.
  • 8 p.m.: Go to bed early.

Make a Balanced Meal Plan

Figure skaters of all ages must eat a healthy and balanced diet. Eating right should begin when ice skaters are young. Here is a sample daily menu:

  • Breakfast: Juice, cereal, milk, and fruit
  • Mid-Morning snack: Fruit or yogurt
  • Lunch: Soup, turkey sandwich, lettuce, tomato, mustard, pickle, carrots, and oatmeal cookies
  • Afternoon snack: Grapes, string cheese, or crackers
  • Dinner: Lean meat, baked potato, green vegetable, and salad
  • Evening snack: Peanut butter, graham crackers, and milk

Set Competition Goals

Figure skating tests, following programs such as the U.S. Figure Skating Basic Skills Test Program and the Ice Skating Institute (ISI) tests, make it possible for figure skaters to compete in certain competitions. These skating tests also carry weight on an ice skater’s resume. Additionally, competition experience is essential for skaters with Olympic dreams.

Every year, a skater, his or her coach, and the family should evaluate a figure skater’s progress, set goals for the season, and work toward achieving those goals.

Beginning figure skaters do not have to join a figure skating club, but as they advance, a time may come when joining a club becomes necessary. All Olympic figure skaters are members of figure skating clubs, U.S. Figure Skating or Skate Canada, or the ice skating association that governs skating in their home country.

It’s also important to remember that skating, more than many sports, is an art form as well as an athletic endeavor. So seeking an education and training in the arts—especially music, dance, and theater—will help young skaters grow into more complete, well rounded performers on the ice as well as more interesting people.

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How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

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How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

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How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

New young ice skaters do not know how often an ice skater needs to practice to improve and advance at figure skating. This short article will help answer that concern.

Practice Every Day

Ice skating is a skill that involves much practice. Figure skaters really do need to practice every day. Also, one on-ice practice session is not enough; serious skaters need to be on the ice for at least two or three practice sessions per day.

Some serious skaters skate six days a week, but many ice skaters practice four or five days a week.

Off-Ice Training

It is best to supplement on-ice sessions with off-ice training in ballet, dance, and conditioning. Also, every figure skater should spend some time practicing figure skating jumps off the ice.

Private Lessons

At least one to two private lessons a week is necessary. One private lesson per day is really the ideal option; however, private ice skating instruction is quite expensive, so that ideal may not be possible for many skaters.

Don’t Skip Practice Sessions or Lessons

Very little progress will occur if a skater skips practices and lessons. Commit to a skating schedule and stick to it.

Sample Figure Skating Training Schedule

A sample Monday through Friday schedule for a young skater could be as follows:

If you are thinking of starting your kids in figure skating, Skate Canada has developed CanSkate, a new program focused on a child’s long-term development in the sport. No matter whether your kids are learning for fun or planning to skate competitively, the program will teach them fundamental skills that they need for figure skating as well as other ice sports such as hockey and speed skating.

Kids can start skating lessons as early as 3, but keep in mind that your 3-year old may not be ready to be away from you or have the attention span for a 20 to 30 minute lesson. By 5 to 6 years of age they’ll have the balance and coordination needed to master the more complex movements of figure skating.

Another way to begin is by taking your kids down to the local rink and skating together as a family. Warm them up by letting them walk on the ground in their skates before taking them onto the ice. Let them know that they’ll fall – everybody does, even Patrick Chan! – and that falls are just a part of skating.

Many facilities will rent skates – and helmets, which are mandatory in many jurisdictions – that you can wear to start. When your kids start bugging you to go to the rink every day, you can find good skates at your local sports swap.

The skills they need

Figure skaters need to be able to glide, spin, turn, jump, hop, skip, and stop.

They also need to develop agility, balance, coordination, flexibility, and the speed that comes from the explosive “quickness” of muscles.

Understanding rhythm – being able to skate to a beat – is also important for figure skaters.

Activities your child can do now

Here are some AfL activities you can do at home with your kids to help them develop these skills:

Find out what skills can be introduced to children at different ages using our Skills Builder tool.

Here’s a six year old girl performing an artistic program, and the same skater two years later.

One response to “ First steps to becoming a figure skater ”

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How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

Russia’s Julia Lipnitskaia performs in the Women’s Figure Skating Team Free Program at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Feb. 9, 2014. (Credit: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)

Watching 15-year-old figure skater Julia Lipnitskaia lift her foot over her head and spin like a top is pretty magical until it hits you:

You’re probably too old to be a figure skater.

“What you want in a figure skater is someone who has relatively thick legs, and someone who has a relatively low center of mass,” said Tim Hewett, who directs the Ohio State University Sports Health & Performance Institute. “As you age, you tend to get more mass in your upper body. That is a problem and an issue that has to do with body control and control over your center of mass.”

On the United States Olympic team, the average figure skater is 22.26 years old, according to its roster. The youngest is 15-year-old Polina Edmunds, and the oldest is 28-year-old Jeremy Abbott.

On the bright side, there are plenty of Olympic sports for older athletes. The average age for U.S. curlers is 33.9, with the oldest American curler being 45-year-old Ann Swisshelm. (The youngest is 22-year-old Jared Zezel.)

For instance, it’s actually better for someone who luges to be heavier, Hewett said. And cross country skiers, curlers and speed skaters actually get better as they get older until well into their 30s.

“I would say if it’s a sport that requires lightness and a low center of mass, it’s going to be a younger sport, and if it requires more experience, it’s going to be older,” Hewett said.

Cite This Source

The Real Poop

Between $30,000 and $50,000 a year (source).

No, that’s not the amount of money you’ll make as a skater—that’s what it costs to become an elite figure skater, give or take a few thousand.

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

That’s about the same as the cost of a year’s tuition at UC Berkeley. Or a condo in Biloxi. Or a Mercedes on eBay.

Sure, you can get endorsements and scholarships—if you make it to the Olympics. You know how many American skaters went to the last Olympics? Fifteen. That’s including singles, pairs, and ice dancers. Good luck.

Olympic athletes can expect salaries in the hundreds of thousands through advertisement deals, but if you’re not one of the elite, that salary comes crashing back to Earth in a real hurry. Skaters working for Disney on Ice or on cruise ships can expect to make about $500-$800 per week, and coaches will generally start at rates of about twenty bucks per twenty minutes of lesson time (source).

If you’re considering a career as a figure skater, chances are you love it and have been skating since you could walk. No? Then realize that your odds of getting a job, even doing spirals on plastic ice on a cruise ship or spinning around as Background Princess #11 for Disney on Ice, are slim.

Really slim. Like, as slim as you need to be in order to fit in those teeny-tiny dresses or spandex suits.

And as for getting a job as a teacher, well, the field for skating coaches is both highly competitive and very small. You’ll almost certainly need to have medaled in a national competition to get the respect of the parents who think their kid’s going to be the next Olympic gold medalist.

But back to the skating. Assuming your figure skating dreams are still intact. You’re looking at fourteen hours a week of ice time, two lessons a week with the choreographer, two lessons a week with the spin coach, two days of off-ice classes, three days of ballet, and video analysis of your jump positions.

Then there are expenses and travel time to the big competitions for you and your main coach, pictures, competition videographer fees, weekly sharpenings for skates that need to be replaced every six months—in other words, back to that $30,000-to-$50,000 a year number.

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

Also, figure skating is really, really, really tough. If you can’t handle pain, take up curling. You’ll be jumping and spinning with precise body movements at top speeds, and you’ll be expected to land on the correct side of a sharp blade that’s about as thick as a coat of Britney Spears’ mascara. Without falling.

To top it off, figure skating skews young. Like, preschool young. Seventeen percent of U.S. Figure Skating’s members are under six years old. That’s right, while most kids are learning to walk, run, and play hopscotch, skater kids are being yelled at if they’re not doing a Salchow correctly or getting low enough on their sit spins.

Thirty-four percent of U.S. Figure Skating members are between seven and twelve years old. If you can’t land a perfect double axel by the time you’re twelve, you might as well pack it in. Olympic skater Polina Edmunds landed her first at age ten.

If you’re a boy, you get a little more leeway because there are only a handful of male figure skating hopefuls. Thirteen percent of USFSA members are between thirteen and eighteen years old, and only one percent of them are boys. Apparently sequins and spandex just don’t appeal to a lot of male teenagers. Who’d have thought?

In fact, boys are so scarce in skating that many parents of skater girls will actually foot their expenses (the dude’s) in a pairs situation in order for their daughter to skate. It’s sort of like paying someone to date your daughter, plus the added pressure of wanting that someone to become an Olympic gold medalist.

Aside from the financial challenges and the difficulty factor, competitive skaters have a high rate of injury. Many work long and hard to achieve top rankings, only to be taken out by a torn Achilles or a groin injury. Those beautiful Biellmann spins cause life-long back problems, and a skater’s hips can only take so many falls before they need to be replaced.

Figure skating is a seriously hard sport on the body, and it’s equally hard on your social life. The life of a skater is full of absolutes. As in, you absolutely can’t eat that chocolate fudge sundae, or that piece of pizza, or that French fry.

And you absolutely can’t go out with your friends, or go on a date, or to the school dance, or the football game, or your best friend’s birthday party, or your dog’s Bar Mitzvah, because you have to get up at 4:00AM to skate.

In fact, if you really want to be an elite athlete, you’ll probably need to be homeschooled to fit all the hours of training required to be competitive. True, a few top athletes manage to go to high school part-time. But when you’re constantly worrying that being in school is damaging your future chances at Olympic fame, it’s unlikely that school is going to win out.

Plus, there’s all the time for travel and competitions in other states or other countries, so in the end, being homeschooled is often the best choice.

Yes, Rachael Flatt managed to go to Stanford and still compete in the Olympics. But did you see her long program? Hopefully her physics scores were higher than her skating marks.

If you’re serious about this career, you’ll need to be okay with being judged on literally everything—your skating, your looks, and even your attitude. While there’s a part of skating that’s black and white, there’s also an artistic score that takes into account the whole of the performance.

It’s about way more than just landing a bunch of incredibly hard jumps and spins. It should be expressive, like a ballet. If a skater has no emotional connection with the audience (and more importantly, with the judges), she (or he) won’t get very far.

You’ll also need to be okay with being alone most of the time. Skaters rarely have many friends, except for other skaters—and they have to compete against them eventually, which can lead to some nasty drama. Skating’s an isolating sport that’s not good for social butterflies and chatty people.

There’s no talking in figure skating; it’s a relatively silent sport. If you’re a chatty Cathy who can’t hold your tongue when you’re on the ice, you might as well hang up your blades now. Or maybe take up synchro. Or curling.

Lastly, you need to understand basic physics. You may not know that you’re working on physics when your coach tells you to tuck your arms in when you jump and to increase your speed before take-off, but you are. Skating is, after all, mostly just taking an object and hurling it into the air to do a bunch of spins—with you being that object. Get familiar with the laws of perpetual motion.

All that sounds pretty dizzying to us. Not as dizzying as those Biellmann spins, but close. If you’re still ready to skate out onto that Olympic ice, read on to find out more about the skating life.

T hree years ago, Bradie Tennell never would have expected that she would be skating for the U.S. in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Tennell was a rising figure skating star when she became U.S. junior champion in 2015, but was sidelined a few months after that victory by stress fractures in her back. She spent the summer of that year in a back brace only to develop another stress fracture after she began skating again, leading to another summer spent in another brace. Unable to skate at all for months at a time was “not very pleasant or fun for me,” Tennell says now, with the injuries far in her past but not her mind. When she was finally able to return to the ice in the 2016 season, it was a hard climb back to her previous status. She finished 11th in the world junior championships.

Looking back, Tennell says there was one benefit to the forced time away from the rink: It reinforced her love of figure skating. “When I came back to skating, I found why I love the sport,” she told TIME recently. “I had a renewed sense of motivation and was able to get down to business.”

That determination brought Tennell, 20, to the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, where she went from long-shot to dark horse medal contender after her stellar showing contributed to Team USA’s bronze medal in the group figure skating event last week. Next, she’s taking the ice for the figure skating short program on Tuesday evening (Wednesday morning local time in South Korea) to see if she can bring in an individual medal as well.

Tennell’s figure skating journey to the Olympics required her to perfect her jumping technique, something she has been working on with her longtime coach, Denise Myers, since she was 9. “We really worked on her technique a lot,” says Myers. “There were quite a few things that needed to be fixed, like her air position so she could get the full rotation.”

Myers worked on breaking down Tennell’s jumps so the take offs, rotations and landings became as reliable as they are today. “I don’t like to make mistakes; I’m very OCD in that way, it makes me very mad,” Tennell says by way of explaining the motivation that has led her to skate so consistently this year.

Getting there wasn’t easy—at one point Myers wouldn’t let Tennell do a double lutz for a full summer until she could shed her bad habits and rebuild her form from scratch. It was worth it — the harder version of that jump, the triple lutz, is now Tennell’s favorite jump.

That strong technique propelled Tennell to a surprise third-place finish at her first Grand Prix event in 2017, and immediately sparked talk about her Olympic potential. Tennell then out-skated three-time national champion Ashley Wagner to earn her first U.S. title and a trip to the Games.

In her own way, Tennell may have been training for the unusual skating competition schedule in PyeongChang all along. While most major figure skating competitions are held at night, the skating events at the 2018 Winter Olympics are morning affairs, timed to maximize their exposure for primetime television audiences back in the U.S. Tennell, it happens, is accustomed to starting her days early.

At home in Carpentersville, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, Tennell is up by 4:30 a.m., grabs a quick breakfast and hops in the car for the 45-minute drive to her rink. Then she spends about an hour giving lessons to a group of students. Only after that does she warm up and get on the ice to start her own three to four hours of training.

Tennell credits her mother, Jean, who worked the night shift as a hospital nurse in order to drive Tennell to practice. “The sacrifices my family have made are just incredible,” she says, referring to her mom and two younger brothers. “Now to be able to share this experience with them means everything to me.” Since they’ve arrived in Korea, her brothers, who play hockey, have visited the Olympic Village and already fantasized about all three of the siblings making the Olympic team in four years. “I was like, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, guys!” says Tennell.

It’s certainly a Cinderella story, so it’s no surprise that the fairy tale is Tennell’s favorite from Disney — and also happens to be the theme for her long program this season. But even if everyone else might have seen her as a surprise member of the 2018 Olympic team, Tennell was far more confident of how her season might end. For her short program, she chose a patriotic song by a South Korean composer. “Being that the Olympics are in Korea this year I just thought it was kind of neat to have that little connection,” she says. Indeed it will be.

“This news is something you can never prepare for,” her skating partner Harley Windsor writes

Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya, who competed on Australia’s pairs figure skating team in the 2018 Olympics, has died. She was 20.

“The ISU is shocked by the news of Ekaterina’s passing,” International Skating Union (ISU) President Jan Dijkema said in a statement on the organization’s website. “She was a talented pair skater and the Figure Skating community will miss her. We offer our deepest sympathies to her family, friends and teammates and mourn this tragic loss.”

Although the cause of death has not been confirmed, Russian news agency Tass reported that a law enforcement source said Alexandrovskaya took her own life by jumping from her Moscow apartment window and that a suicide note was left behind.

The Russian-born skater along with her partner on the ice, Harley Windsor, had only trained together for one year when they won the World Junior Figure Skating Championships in 2017 — becoming the first Australian skaters to win an ISU Championship title. The following year, they competed together at the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

In February 2020, they announced they were ending their skating careers as a pair. Coach Andrei Khekalo told Russian news agency RIA Novosti on the day of Alexandrovskaya’s death that doctors recommended she end her skating career after she experienced an epileptic seizure.

“Due to health concerns, Katia and I are unable to continue,” Windsor wrote on Instagram in February. “I want to take this opportunity to wish Katia all the best in the future and a quick recovery.”

On Saturday, Windsor posted a tribute to Alexandrovskaya on Instagram, writing, ” Words can not describe how I feel right now, I am devastated and sick to my core about the sad and sudden passing of Katia. The amount we had achieved during our partnership is something I can never forget and will always hold close to my heart. This news is something you can never prepare for. Rest In Peace Katia.”

If you or someone you care for needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline , 24 hours a day, at 1-800-273-8255.

Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya, an Australian Olympic pairs’ figure skater, has died at age 20, according to the International Skating Union.

Alexandrovskaya died in Moscow, her birthplace.

Alexandrovskaya and then-partner Harley Windsor won the 2017 World Junior pairs’ title, then placed 18th at the PyeongChang Olympics. They split up in February.

“Words can not describe how I feel right now, I am devastated and sick to my core about the sad and sudden passing of Katia,” was posted on Windsor’s social media. “The amount we had achieved during our partnership is something I can never forget and will always hold close to my heart. This news is something you can never prepare for. Rest In Peace Katia.”

Alexandrovskaya was introduced to Windsor in 2015, after Windsor’s Russian coach suggested he go to Moscow to find a partner.

Alexandrovskaya, a classically trained pairs’ specialist was, like Windsor, struggling to find the right partner and toying with the idea of quitting.

Alexandrovskaya applied for Australian citizenship and was granted it in October 2017, four months before the Winter Games. They became the first Australian Olympic pairs’ skaters in 20 years. Windsor became the first Indigenous Australian to compete in a Winter Olympics.

The pair competed the last two seasons on figure skating’s top-level Grand Prix Series.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Words can not describe how I feel right now, I am devastated and sick to my core about the sad and sudden passing of Katia. The amount we had achieved during our partnership is something I can never forget and will always hold close to my heart. This news is something you can never prepare for. Rest In Peace Katia. A post shared by Harley Windsor (@h_d22) on Jul 18, 2020 at 2:44am PDT

Gallery: 20 of the most inspiring female athletes (Espresso)

Saudi figure skater nurtures Olympic dream

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

  • The 13-year-old hopes to emulate the Russian figure skaters Elena Radionova and Alexandra Trusova

JEDDAH: A Saudi teen who picked up ice skating three years ago at a friend’s birthday party is now dreaming of taking part in the Olympic Games.

“It all started at my friend’s birthday party three years ago where we ice skated and I fell in love with the sport. I started going every day after that. My mom signed me up for classes when she saw my love for the sport,” Malak Al-Shaya told Arab News.
She said: “My mom was the one that encouraged me. At that birthday party, my mom and the coach said I was a natural because I just went for it.”
She came 4th at the Houston Invitational 2020 in March. She said that she will work harder next year to win first place.
The 13-year-old hopes to emulate the Russian figure skaters Elena Radionova and Alexandra Trusova who inspired her and even to get to the Olympics.
“I’ll work on ice and off ice. I want to be like Alexandra Trusova, who makes it look so elegant,” she said.

Gliding on the ice, Al-Shaya said she feels like everything is “magical.”
The young figure skater is aware that the sport is not the most popular in the Kingdom, but she encourages those wishing to master it.
“Just go for it. If you are willing to work hard you can achieve anything,” she said.
She has received a lot of encouragement on social media to pursue her passion in figure skating.
Al-Shaya’s mother, Eman Al-Damegh, shared her daughter’s love story. “At that birthday party, it was the first time Malak ever ice skated. After that, my kids used to ask me to take them ice skating every day,” she said.

FAST FACT

• Malak Al-Shaya won 4th place at the Houston Invitational 2020.

• Al-Shaya started ice skating three years ago.

• The teen’s coach says her speed is impressive, and it takes them years to teach a student to reach the speed that she is naturally able to control comfortably.

She said that her daughter came from a background, which lacked the facilities for the sport, but was “a natural” straightaway.
“She had never been ice skating before, she started it at such a young age. We used to live in Qassim where there were no ice skating arenas at all,” said Al-Damegh.
She added: “The moment Malak set foot inside the rink, she just took off. I was so surprised, she didn’t hesitate at all, she was so daring that day. And there I was wondering what would happen on ice (before she started).”
According to her proud mother, Al-Shaya has all the capabilities required for this sport and possesses the sense of daringness that skating requires.
The teen’s coach told Al-Damegh that her daughter’s speed was impressive, adding that it takes them years to teach a student to reach the speed that she is “naturally able to control comfortably.”

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‘It’s our duty’: Saudi donors reach out to help hard-hit Lebanese

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

  • KSRelief ‘helping hand’ program raises $490,000 for Beirut blast victims

JEDDAH: For years, residents of the Kingdom have raised funds, donated goods and helped charities provide emergency aid to countries and people facing wars, famine and disaster.

This time, it is no different. Shocked by the devastating events in Beirut, Saudis are once more displaying their generosity by offering donations to help the Lebanese people find comfort and peace, as well as rebuild their shattered capital.

When news of the deadly Beirut port explosion broke last Tuesday, thousands of Saudis voiced their shock on social media, standing in solidarity with their Lebanese brothers and sisters, and promising to offer donations to help thousands of Lebanese left homeless by the blast.

In less than week, private businesses and donors, including foundations and philanthropic organizations, have donated more than SR1.8 million ($490,000) to the “Giving a helping hand to the brothers in Lebanon” program organized by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief).

KSRelief, the only body authorized to receive charitable or humanitarian donations from within the Kingdom, was at the forefront of international aid efforts to Beirut.

Businesses have also offered part of their proceeds to help KSRelief’s assistance program.

Tarek, Farah & Haneen Khaled Naaman, owners of Siblings Brunch and Coffee in Jeddah, dedicated the proceeds from one day’s work to help hard-hit Lebanese — even though their business has been in operation for only eight months.

“My family is originally Lebanese, but we were born and raised here, so Lebanon has always been a second home to us,” Tarek told Arab News.

“To give is a human act of kindness and they (the Lebanese) have gone through so much for so long. It is our duty to help. I’m blessed and I’d like to share these blessings, especially now. If I can do more, I won’t hesitate,” he said.

“We’re a small business and yet my siblings and I couldn’t turn away from this devastating situation. One day’s proceeds is the minimum we could do; that’s what we can do for now.”

Naaman also called on other firms to help in any way possible, urging them to “do the math, focus on keeping their business afloat, but also finding the means to give back.”

He said: “If God is giving to you, you should give to those less fortunate. God will triple your earnings.”

Saudi people have also shown their generosity, with many voicing the same reason for making donations.

“These are our Arab brothers and sisters, we stand with them and we’ll help in any way we can,” said Amani A.A., a businesswoman.

“No matter how big or small a donation is, I know it’s going to a good cause and it’s only fair we do our part.

“Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, Iraq, Syria — it doesn’t matter who they are or where they’re from,” she said.

“You wouldn’t want to stand alone while you suffer.”

Hi im 12 years old and started skating 2 years ago Ive already landed my axel in les than two weeks and is close to landing double loop flip and sow and I train 2-3 times a week am i too old to become an Olympic Skater?

12 Answers

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

If you love what you are doing, just skate your heart out and see how well you can do. But be realistic. Of all the hopefuls out there, only a handful make the Olympics; in skating I would guess most have had intensive training since early childhood.

A long time! Most of the elite skaters started when they were very young (about 3-5 years old), and their parents poured tons of money into several lessons and practice sessions a week. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done if someone starts later (Johnny Weir started when he was 12). But it will take a lot of time, money, and desire to succeed. Most serious skaters have a lesson at least 3 times per week (if not more), and practice before and after school for about 3-5 hours a day. Then they also take ballet, do cardio off-ice, stretching, pilates, and weight-lifting. Only a tiny percentage of those skaters will eventually be considered elite. Even if your daughters don’t/can’t get that far, skating can be very worthwhile. Most who stick with it have the capability to learn double jumps if they work hard. Every test level passed is an achievement. Competitions and shows can be a lot of fun. And the feeling you get when you finally land a jump is the best!

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

No! Whatever you are doing is working for you so keep doing it. I am also 12 well in 3 days I will be 12. You have excelled very quickly. I am working on double loops, double flips, and double lutzes and I have been skating for 6 and 1/2 years. I also want to go to the Olympics. See you in 2014.

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

training 2-3 times a week at the age of 12 will not help you get to the olympics, that’s forsure! by 12 you should have landed at least 1 triple and trainiing at least 5 days a week

Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya, who represented Australia at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, has died aged 20 after falling out of the window in Moscow, her coach said on Saturday.

There was no immediate comment from Russian law enforcement agencies but Alexandrovskaya’s coach Andrei Khekalo told AFP the young woman had fallen from a sixth-floor window in central Moscow.

Russian media said she had left a note reading “Lyublyu (I love)”, suggesting it could have been a suicide.

Khekalo said Alexandrovskaya missed a training session in January and was afterwards diagnosed with epilepsy and quit the sport.

Even before she was diagnosed with epilepsy she suffered from depression, he added.

“I tried to get her to stay in sport at my own peril,” Khekalo said.

He said she was particularly good at pairs skating. “She was fearless. She was like a fish in the water,” he added.

Overlooked by the Russian system, Alexandrovskaya switched countries and partnered up with Harley Windsor, who eventually became Australia’s first Aboriginal athlete to take part in the Winter Olympics.

The pair were crowned world junior champions in 2017, claiming Australia’s first global figure skating title and getting the nod for the Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Windsor said he was “devastated and sick to my core about the sad and sudden passing of Katia”.

“The amount we had achieved during our partnership is something I can never forget and will always hold close to my heart,” he said in a statement on Instagram.

Peter Lynch, president at Ice Skating Australia, called Alexandrovskaya “a brilliant athlete with incredible drive and determination”.

She and Windsor “did what many thought impossible”, he said in a statement.

“Together they created greatness that will rest in the Australian record books for many years.”

There’s nothing I want more than for my 1-year-old daughter to someday represent the U.S. Olympic figure skating team.

Could someone explain to me the process of accomplishing this? For instance, where should my daughter start her training? Do you recommend any good ice arenas? Any good coaches? When should she start competing? What sort of diet should she stay on? Should she take other classes such as ballet?

Your help would be very much appreciated!

P.S. Please don’t give me that whole “Only 1 out of 500,000,000,000,000 people actually get to go to the Olympics,” because I’ve already heard that WAY too many times!

11 Answers

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

Well first of all the chances are low for someone to get to the Olympics, but its a good thing you’re starting now. I go to high school with Tanner Anderson, who placed second in the nation for high jump, so Im kinda creditable. First of all, if shes only one, most coaches wont even look at her; there is a such thing as starting too young. If I were you, I’d take her out on a rink for fun about once a week to even see if she enjoys it and has some sort of talent. If so, start her in ballet and gymnastic classes. Gymnastics is a whole other realm of Olympics, but it’s great for dexterity, flexibility, strength, and balance; all of which she’ll need in figure skating. At this age, a diet would hurt more than help, but when shes four or five, bananas and lots of protein would be great. Fruits and veggies are crucial, but at all costs avoid high fatty foods and sweets. Homemade food is healthy food. Multivitamins can be a great additive for good health. Ice skating can get costly, so be prepared. When shes still young, a good coach isnt vital, and just getting her on the rink with basic training is all she’ll really need right now. When she’s between 4 and 7, get her with a good coach, which might require you to move. Research coaches and rinks. Keep her in ballet and gymnastics throughout her entire career to maintain positive traits: good coaches are looking for good foundations. Once you get her into a rink, they’ll get her into competitions when shes at the right level. Just remember to keep her healthy and not to force her into anything she doesnt want. If ice skating doesnt work out, gymnastics is always great too! Good luck and I hope I helped(:

A long time! Most of the elite skaters started when they were very young (about 3-5 years old), and their parents poured tons of money into several lessons and practice sessions a week. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done if someone starts later (Johnny Weir started when he was 12). But it will take a lot of time, money, and desire to succeed. Most serious skaters have a lesson at least 3 times per week (if not more), and practice before and after school for about 3-5 hours a day. Then they also take ballet, do cardio off-ice, stretching, pilates, and weight-lifting. Only a tiny percentage of those skaters will eventually be considered elite. Even if your daughters don’t/can’t get that far, skating can be very worthwhile. Most who stick with it have the capability to learn double jumps if they work hard. Every test level passed is an achievement. Competitions and shows can be a lot of fun. And the feeling you get when you finally land a jump is the best!

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

You should immediately move to Colorado Springs, CO and start her in private lessons twice a week when she turns 3. Buy a punch card and put her on freestyle sessions with a list several times more each week. As soon as she’s old enough for the dance schools, enroll her three times each week and don’t miss a single recital. Then, keep telling her that she’s going to be a superstar olympic athlete-really emphasize that she MUST work every single day. She cannot afford to waste time in playgrounds or pre-school. Add a personal trainer and conditioning coach to her team when she turns five. Get yourself certified for home schooling before she’s school age, so she doesn’t have to waste valuable rink time going to school and making friends. No junk or fast food. Ever.

If you’ve “heard that WAY too many times” – it’s time to start listening. The only skaters who even COME CLOSE to making the Olympics are those who have a love of skating in their hearts that they grew themselves, not those who were forced by overzealous mothers.

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

You should let your daughter skate in the age of 3-5. She needs a private coach, preferably someone who understands little kids. If you really want her to be a very serious skater, you should make her stretch right now. Right now, she should train in a local rink and she should start competing when she’s ready. Ballet and gymnastics are very good for ice skating but i don’t really recommend gymnastics because you don’t jump in the air the same way as skating and ballet and you don’t spin in one foot but it helps balance. Your daughter’s diet doesn’t really matter as much in figure skating, she can still eat fried food but don’t let her eat much because it’s not healthy anyways. You don’t have to make her really fit right now because just skating in a basic level already builds muscle around the knees and thighs. Also, if you want the rink all to yourself to let your little kid practice, go at the earliest time in the early of the morning and have a coach teach her then because a rink can really be packed. I’m not telling you that you have to do all this but i just hope this helps! :]

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

The 1990s were an amazing time for Olympic figure skaters: few athletes achieved the same level of adoration and fame. And none have generated as much gossip and speculation.

We’re revisiting the legacies of eleven of the most talked-about Olympic skaters of the ’90s, and checking in to see what they’re up to today.

In the early ’90s, Tonya Harding was considered one of the best professional figure skaters in America.

At the height of her career, Tonya Harding was known as the first American woman to land a triple axel, a supremely difficult jump that requires a forward takeoff followed by three and a half revolutions in the air.

While Harding landed the historic jump axel at Nationals in 1991, she never managed to land it while competing at the Olympics. To date, only three women have successfully landed the jump in the Olympics; Japan’s Midori Ito in 1992, Japan’s Mao Asada in 2010, and America’s Mirai Nagasu in 2018 .

A talented skater, Harding’s legacy was marred after she was implicated in a scandal that would forever brand her as the villainess of figure skating: Just before the 1994 US Nationals, Harding’s live-in ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, orchestrated an attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan that would hinder chance at winning. The incident is now known as “the whack heard round the world.”

Now, she’s is back in the spotlight thanks to the critically-acclaimed film about her skating career, called “I, Tonya.”

Harding was stripped of her second national title and forever banned from competing in the US after she pleaded guilty to hindering the investigation into Kerrigan’s attack. She was sentenced to three years probation, 500 hours of community service, and a $160,000 fine, but maintains to this day that she didn’t know anything about the attack.

Following the ruling, Harding made several TV appearances on shows such as “Larry King Live” and “Roseanne,” got married and changed her name to Tonya Price in 2010, and made her official debut as a professional boxer (a short-lived venture) in 2013.

Public interest in Price was recently revived when the critically-acclaimed movie “I, Tonya,” starring Margot Robbie as Harding, was released in 2017.

Viktor Petrenko represented the Soviet Union, the Unified Team, and Ukraine during his career.

He managed to take home the gold for the Unified team in 1992.

  • Invalid Date,

OLYMPIC figure skater Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya has died at the age of 20 after reportedly falling from a window.

Reports in Russia say that the athlete “fell out of a window in Moscow” and “died on the spot,” but the cause of death has not been confirmed.

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

Alexandrovskaya was born in the Russian capital in 2000, but represented Australia at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

Russian website Izvestiu reports that “the circumstances of the incident are being clarified”.

Alexandrovskaya is a two-time Australian National Champion pair-skating with 23-year-old partner Harley Windsor.

Windsor’s parents have Australian Aboriginal roots and he became the first Indigenous Australian to compete at the Winter Olympics.

Their crowning moment came when they became the first Australian pair-skaters to compete at the Olympics for ten years.

But they finished 18th in the short program, missing out on the top-16 who progressed into the free skate.

Miss Alexandrovskaya retired from the sport in February after sustaining several injuries.

Ian Chesterman, chef de mission for the Australian team in Pyeongchang, said the news was a terrible blow for all those who knew the skater.

OLYMPIC TRAGEDY

Mr Chesterman said: “It is enormously sad to lose Katia, who was a vibrant and talented person and an incredible athlete.

“She was quiet and humble in her manner but incredibly determined to be the best she could be.

“Life since the Games has not been easy for her and this is another timely reminder of just how fragile life is.”

Geoff Lipshut, chief executive of the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia, said Alexandrovskaya has a special place in the country’s sports history.

He said: “Katia and Harley were Australia’s first figure skating world champions.

“She came to Australia to fulfil her sporting dreams.

“The news today is so sad, my thoughts are with Katia’s family in Russia, Harley and the skating community in Australia.

“I will remember Katia as a young person of great talent and remarkable potential.”

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Hi im 12 years old and started skating 2 years ago Ive already landed my axel in les than two weeks and is close to landing double loop flip and sow and I train 2-3 times a week am i too old to become an Olympic Skater?

12 Answers

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

If you love what you are doing, just skate your heart out and see how well you can do. But be realistic. Of all the hopefuls out there, only a handful make the Olympics; in skating I would guess most have had intensive training since early childhood.

A long time! Most of the elite skaters started when they were very young (about 3-5 years old), and their parents poured tons of money into several lessons and practice sessions a week. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done if someone starts later (Johnny Weir started when he was 12). But it will take a lot of time, money, and desire to succeed. Most serious skaters have a lesson at least 3 times per week (if not more), and practice before and after school for about 3-5 hours a day. Then they also take ballet, do cardio off-ice, stretching, pilates, and weight-lifting. Only a tiny percentage of those skaters will eventually be considered elite. Even if your daughters don’t/can’t get that far, skating can be very worthwhile. Most who stick with it have the capability to learn double jumps if they work hard. Every test level passed is an achievement. Competitions and shows can be a lot of fun. And the feeling you get when you finally land a jump is the best!

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

No! Whatever you are doing is working for you so keep doing it. I am also 12 well in 3 days I will be 12. You have excelled very quickly. I am working on double loops, double flips, and double lutzes and I have been skating for 6 and 1/2 years. I also want to go to the Olympics. See you in 2014.

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

training 2-3 times a week at the age of 12 will not help you get to the olympics, that’s forsure! by 12 you should have landed at least 1 triple and trainiing at least 5 days a week

There’s nothing I want more than for my 1-year-old daughter to someday represent the U.S. Olympic figure skating team.

Could someone explain to me the process of accomplishing this? For instance, where should my daughter start her training? Do you recommend any good ice arenas? Any good coaches? When should she start competing? What sort of diet should she stay on? Should she take other classes such as ballet?

Your help would be very much appreciated!

P.S. Please don’t give me that whole “Only 1 out of 500,000,000,000,000 people actually get to go to the Olympics,” because I’ve already heard that WAY too many times!

11 Answers

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

Well first of all the chances are low for someone to get to the Olympics, but its a good thing you’re starting now. I go to high school with Tanner Anderson, who placed second in the nation for high jump, so Im kinda creditable. First of all, if shes only one, most coaches wont even look at her; there is a such thing as starting too young. If I were you, I’d take her out on a rink for fun about once a week to even see if she enjoys it and has some sort of talent. If so, start her in ballet and gymnastic classes. Gymnastics is a whole other realm of Olympics, but it’s great for dexterity, flexibility, strength, and balance; all of which she’ll need in figure skating. At this age, a diet would hurt more than help, but when shes four or five, bananas and lots of protein would be great. Fruits and veggies are crucial, but at all costs avoid high fatty foods and sweets. Homemade food is healthy food. Multivitamins can be a great additive for good health. Ice skating can get costly, so be prepared. When shes still young, a good coach isnt vital, and just getting her on the rink with basic training is all she’ll really need right now. When she’s between 4 and 7, get her with a good coach, which might require you to move. Research coaches and rinks. Keep her in ballet and gymnastics throughout her entire career to maintain positive traits: good coaches are looking for good foundations. Once you get her into a rink, they’ll get her into competitions when shes at the right level. Just remember to keep her healthy and not to force her into anything she doesnt want. If ice skating doesnt work out, gymnastics is always great too! Good luck and I hope I helped(:

A long time! Most of the elite skaters started when they were very young (about 3-5 years old), and their parents poured tons of money into several lessons and practice sessions a week. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done if someone starts later (Johnny Weir started when he was 12). But it will take a lot of time, money, and desire to succeed. Most serious skaters have a lesson at least 3 times per week (if not more), and practice before and after school for about 3-5 hours a day. Then they also take ballet, do cardio off-ice, stretching, pilates, and weight-lifting. Only a tiny percentage of those skaters will eventually be considered elite. Even if your daughters don’t/can’t get that far, skating can be very worthwhile. Most who stick with it have the capability to learn double jumps if they work hard. Every test level passed is an achievement. Competitions and shows can be a lot of fun. And the feeling you get when you finally land a jump is the best!

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

You should immediately move to Colorado Springs, CO and start her in private lessons twice a week when she turns 3. Buy a punch card and put her on freestyle sessions with a list several times more each week. As soon as she’s old enough for the dance schools, enroll her three times each week and don’t miss a single recital. Then, keep telling her that she’s going to be a superstar olympic athlete-really emphasize that she MUST work every single day. She cannot afford to waste time in playgrounds or pre-school. Add a personal trainer and conditioning coach to her team when she turns five. Get yourself certified for home schooling before she’s school age, so she doesn’t have to waste valuable rink time going to school and making friends. No junk or fast food. Ever.

If you’ve “heard that WAY too many times” – it’s time to start listening. The only skaters who even COME CLOSE to making the Olympics are those who have a love of skating in their hearts that they grew themselves, not those who were forced by overzealous mothers.

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

You should let your daughter skate in the age of 3-5. She needs a private coach, preferably someone who understands little kids. If you really want her to be a very serious skater, you should make her stretch right now. Right now, she should train in a local rink and she should start competing when she’s ready. Ballet and gymnastics are very good for ice skating but i don’t really recommend gymnastics because you don’t jump in the air the same way as skating and ballet and you don’t spin in one foot but it helps balance. Your daughter’s diet doesn’t really matter as much in figure skating, she can still eat fried food but don’t let her eat much because it’s not healthy anyways. You don’t have to make her really fit right now because just skating in a basic level already builds muscle around the knees and thighs. Also, if you want the rink all to yourself to let your little kid practice, go at the earliest time in the early of the morning and have a coach teach her then because a rink can really be packed. I’m not telling you that you have to do all this but i just hope this helps! :]

Alessandra Malito

Skates alone can cost $2,000 with new blades — and they’re usually replaced annually

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

It takes more than a pair of skates to train competitively in figure skating.

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Figure skating when done right looks effortless at the Winter Olympics — but those flawless performances take hours of extreme physical labor on and off the ice and thousands of dollars spent on skates, coaching and outfits.

Training with the intention of competing can cost skaters and their families between $10,000 to $20,000, if not more. The most expensive part of training: Coaching. Serious skaters need around five hours a week of coaching, at $100 to $160 an hour, as well as separate coaching from a choreographer and off-ice trainers for ballet or stretching.

Those non-skating sessions or classes can cost just as much as a main coach, said Rosie Tovi, a former professional figure skater for the U.S.A. International Figure Skating Team. “You watch the Olympics and it looks so lyrical and beautiful, but people don’t realize the athleticism involved,” she said. “You have to look like a ballerina doing it and that takes time. The amount of time is really intense.”

How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

Here’s how it adds up: Skates alone can cost up to $2,000 per pair. Blades need to be sharpened every few weeks, which costs $30 to $40 at a time. Sturdy boots are important because they protect skaters’ ankles, especially during countless jumps and twists, which means skaters can expect to replace their skates once a year, according to a breakdown of skating costs by rank of interest and commitment.

Add to that travel costs and fees for as many as six competitions a year either at the regional, sectional or national level. Traveling can cost total thousands of dollars a year for the skater, parents and coaches.

Competition outfits can cost hundreds dollars. The most expensive are often adorned with Swarovski crystals. Skaters also need someone to edit music for the song they’ll use during their actual performance, unless they do it themselves. Ice time for practices can cost about $25 an hour in New York, Tovi said, and skaters tend to spend at least four hours a day on the ice practicing.

Do you get nervous watching figure skaters like Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu at the Winter Olympics? Try being the one on the ice. There’s one more cost figure skating viewers may not consider: Therapy. And that can cost up to $300 an hour.

“The pressure of holding it together is really a lot,” Tovi said. Professional figure skaters, such as two-time National Champion Gracie Gold, are being more honest about the mental hurdles it takes to compete. In November, Gold said she was taking time off from the ice. More coaches suggest skaters-in-training meet with therapists to prepare them for competition and nonstop practice.

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How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

Being an Olympic-level athlete is a goal that many people have across the globe, with only a relative few who do manage to achieve such a pinnacle within the sporting world. Sadly, that world lost one of its own in the past week. Figure skater Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya, who represented Australia during the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, died at 20 years old after falling from a building window.

Details weren’t quick to emerge after the Australian Olympic Committee confirmed that Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya had fallen to her death from a building’s sixth-floor window in Moscow, Russia on Friday, July 17. According to the New York Post, Russian media later provided the tragic update that Alexandrovskaya left a note at the scene that said “Lyublyu,” which translates to “I love.”

After years of success, Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya had apparently retired from figure skating back in January 2020 after years of health and fitness concerns. She’d suffered a seizure around that time and was diagnosed with epilepsy. It was also claimed by her coach Andrei Khekalo that the Olympian suffered from bouts with depression.

Born in Moscow in 2000, Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya moved to Australia and obtained citizenship in 2017 in the years after her father’s 2015 death, choosing to represent the country with her figure skating career. She and skating partner Harley Windsor, who is Australia’s first indigenous athlete to compete at the Winter Olympics, were very successful during their years together. They won the gold during the 2017 World Junior Champions, among other accomplishments. For the 2018 Winter Games, they ended up placing 18th, and did not advance to the free skate event.

Despite some successes thereafter, Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya and Harvey Windsor both dealt with health issues that occasionally kept them from competing. During one of their final competitions together, the pair took seventh place at 2019 Skate America early on in the Grand Prix of Figure Skating. It was relatively soon after that when Alexandrovskaya retired.

Harley Windsor took to Instagram to share his shock and his sadness over her death, saying:

Words can not describe how I feel right now, I am devastated and sick to my core about the sad and sudden passing of Katia. The amount we had achieved during our partnership is something I can never forget and will always hold close to my heart. This news is something you can never prepare for. Rest In Peace Katia.

Geoff Lipshut, who serves as the chief executive of the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia, mourned the athlete by pointing out her legacy within the country’s Olympic history.

Katia and Harley were Australia’s first figure skating world champions. She came to Australia to fulfill her sporting dreams.

We here at CinemaBlend send our thoughts and condolences to the family and friends of Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya in their time of mourning.

    • How to Become an Olympic Figure SkaterNick Venable View Profile

    Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn’t sound like that’s the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.

    At the 2018 Olympic Games, one sport enjoying quite a bit of viewership and general public attention has been full of flips and jumps and spins. Of course, that would be figure skating. The competition will be as tough as ever this year, and one perennial reason for that is the short amount of time, relatively speaking, that most participants have to compete within their lifetime. Known for primarily featuring sub-30-year-old athletes, how old figure skaters have to be to compete is not very old at all.

    According to a memo authored by the International Skating Union (ISU), figure skating Olympians at this year’s Winter Games must be at least 15 years old. Specifically, they must have turned 15 years old by July 1, 2017 in order to have been eligible for the 2018 Games. (The ISU, for reference, is the international federation that administers ice skating sports.)

    The sport has a heavy emphasis on agile frames, which likely has a lot to do with why the majority of figure skaters are so young. Younger athletes are naturally more inclined to have faster metabolisms and more flexible muscles and joints.

    That said, however, it’s worth noting that figure skating star Adam Rippon, a 2018 U.S. figure skating fan favorite, is 28 years old. He is the oldest rookie figure skater to head to the Winter Games since 1939, and on Sunday night, he came in second place in the men’s free skate competition. That means that while there certainly is a lot of focus on youth within the world of competitive skating, it definitely isn’t a determining factor in performance.

    Rippon’s age means that there is a decade between he and some of his competitors — even between he and some of his teammates. Vincent Zhou, for example, was born in October of 2000, making the American figure skater only 17 years old. While that’s not an entire generation, that’s still a significant gap between he and Rippon.

    Zhou, however, isn’t the youngest to compete in the 2018 Winter Games. One Olympian did just make the age requirement, and she will be suiting up with the rest of the competition. Her name is Alina Zagitova, and she is a 15-year-old Russian figure skater competing as an Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR). She is expected to perform exceptionally well at PyeongChang, and is considered a contender for a gold medal. Interestingly, many are pitting her against her teammate, Evgenia Medvedeva (who is 18 years old, for the record).

    Because figure skating is such an inherently young sport, most professional skaters begin learning the tricks of the trade at a very young age. It isn’t uncommon to learn that Olympian skaters first stepped on the ice just after learning how to walk — often at about three years old. And from there generally comes years and years of professional lessons, and with that, a litany of competitions.

    Figure skating, if it isn’t obvious from watching it, requires a ton of balance and coordination. A lot of the skills required are more manageable when adopted at a very young age. While it isn’t impossible to pick up figure skating as a teenager or young adult, it’s largely accepted that the chances of being a major Olympic contender when one hasn’t been on the ice for their entire life are slim to none.

    As such, much like any other extremely demanding sport, there are a litany of stories about the stress of the competition weighing down too heavily on its participants. Figure skating takes an incredible amount of work, and commands so much of skaters’ time and energy, that it’s fair to say, young or not, competing as a skater in the Olympics is truly a lifetime accomplishment.

    I have never taken a single ice skating lesson in my life, but I can’t stop think about it. I work harder then anyone I know and am very passionate about skating. The problem, I am 14 years old. Do you think I could become an Olympic figure skater if I tried very hard?

    9 Answers

    How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

    Well, you need to start taking lessons if you’re passionate about it. Teaching yourself is always going to end in disaster. Injury, having to relearn edges, trying to get rid of a bad habit- it can take years to relearn a jump or spin once you’ve taught yourself the wrong way. Pick the best coach for you to take lessons with. There was two coaches I was choosing between when I took private lessons, and they were equally good in terms of how well they taught, but the one I chose was the one that pushed me extremely hard. She would make me do the same thing over and over until I did it. I’m sure she would have kept me there all day if she had to. Her favorite things to say to me are “Just do it,” and “You’re still alive, aren’t you?” Now, another skater would not have wanted a coach that pushes them like that, but that was the kind of coaching I *needed.* I’d have never gotten anywhere without a tough coach. So don’t choose the “best” coach at the rink, choose the one that suits your skating needs.

    Money. Lessons.. skates.. ice time.. lessons.. coach fees.. competitions.. it adds up. You’ll have to skate in Freestyle ice time for hours a day, and have a coach on the freestyle ice with you for at least a few of those hours, if not all. Coaches usually cost a dollar per minute and up. And competition fees can cost quite a bit. Skates and blades cost $1000+ in the advanced levels. I’ve gotten away with paying less than $150 for new, advanced skates, from lengthy deal-hunting, but not everybody is going to find deals like that. Most Olympians pay tens of thousands per year just for ice time and coaching.

    You can legally get a job in the US when you’re 14. When/if you interview for jobs, say that you’re finding a job so you can financially support your figure skating. Don’t mention the Olympics, you’ll just sound starstruck. Taking responsibility for the financial side of your sport will impress any adult. When you’re good- Senior level- try to get a sponsorship from a sports company or a skating apparel or skate manufacturer company. You’ll have an advantage- the youngest skater always get the most attention, so companies will want you to sponsor.

    You can cut corners with skating apparel (finding cheap dresses or making your own), but you can never cut corners with your equipment (skates and blades) or coach time. Coaches aren’t going to coach you for free just for a chance to go to the Olympics.

    You need to start lessons now, and decide if Olympics is still your goal in a few months. If so- sit down with your parents and coach and figure out if you can afford it. Considering that there’s 16 and 18 year olds at the Olympics, 14 is old, because between 14 and 20 is considered the peak of a skater’s career. Most skaters are doing doubles at 14, possibly triples. I’ve heard of 12-year-olds landing triples- they’re the ones who land every jump at the Olympics, because they landed triples at 12, and by the time they’re 16-18 their triples are extremely consistent.

    Why do you want to go to the Olympics? I want to do triples one day, but I don’t necessarily want to go to the Olympics. I do nurse a little dream- every skater does- but I’m not actively pushing for the Olympics. My dream is to become a skating coach, actually. I’m fascinated by it- I love watching my coaches coach. I don’t have to be famous, I don’t have to be the best skater in the world. I just want to be good enough to coach. The Olympics are a million in one chance, and there’s thousands of skaters who only focus on the Olympics, and they get their spirits broken, and quit. Focus on becoming a great skater, not an Olympian.

    It’s a sacrifice. You won’t have friends, except the people you skate with. You might see your other non skating friends maybe once or twice a week. Since you’re so old, you’ll have to start homeschooling so you can skate for hours per day. You certainly won’t have a boyfriend, both because you won’t have time and because your parent/coach aren’t going to let you- a pregnancy will end all and any dreams- and even if you abort, you’d have lost a month or so of precious lessons, from hormonal imbalance. You’ll be on a strict diet and will have to endure pain- ever see skaters skating with braces on their legs? Do you think they listened to their doctors when they were told not to skate? If it’s an injury that will become chronic, the skater will rest so as to not ruin their career, but something that can be supported/fixed with a brace or leg wrap, they will skate anyway. Off-ice training, another thing to eat the hours out of your day. Many skaters coach the Learn-to-skate classes to earn money- another hour-eater. You’ll have to travel to competitions, and be constantly working on programs.

    First, you have to be able to afford it and have the support of your family. Then you need to put 500% of effort into it, and even then you might not ever land a triple jump. You should love skating for what it is, not for the Olympics.

    Hi im 12 years old and started skating 2 years ago Ive already landed my axel in les than two weeks and is close to landing double loop flip and sow and I train 2-3 times a week am i too old to become an Olympic Skater?

    12 Answers

    How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

    If you love what you are doing, just skate your heart out and see how well you can do. But be realistic. Of all the hopefuls out there, only a handful make the Olympics; in skating I would guess most have had intensive training since early childhood.

    A long time! Most of the elite skaters started when they were very young (about 3-5 years old), and their parents poured tons of money into several lessons and practice sessions a week. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done if someone starts later (Johnny Weir started when he was 12). But it will take a lot of time, money, and desire to succeed. Most serious skaters have a lesson at least 3 times per week (if not more), and practice before and after school for about 3-5 hours a day. Then they also take ballet, do cardio off-ice, stretching, pilates, and weight-lifting. Only a tiny percentage of those skaters will eventually be considered elite. Even if your daughters don’t/can’t get that far, skating can be very worthwhile. Most who stick with it have the capability to learn double jumps if they work hard. Every test level passed is an achievement. Competitions and shows can be a lot of fun. And the feeling you get when you finally land a jump is the best!

    How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

    No! Whatever you are doing is working for you so keep doing it. I am also 12 well in 3 days I will be 12. You have excelled very quickly. I am working on double loops, double flips, and double lutzes and I have been skating for 6 and 1/2 years. I also want to go to the Olympics. See you in 2014.

    How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

    training 2-3 times a week at the age of 12 will not help you get to the olympics, that’s forsure! by 12 you should have landed at least 1 triple and trainiing at least 5 days a week

    The death of 20-year-old Ekaterina “Katia” Alexandrovskaya shocked an already grieving country after the death of female criminal investigator Ekaterina Mishkina who also fell to her death from a flat window

    • 12:41, 18 JUL 2020
    • Updated 14:05, 18 JUL 2020

    How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

    A Russian figure skater who ended up performing for Australia has been found dead after she plummeted from a Moscow flat, according to reports.

    Ekaterina “Katia” Alexandrovskaya, 20, fell from the sixth floor of an apartment block, the reports said.

    Her tragic death came after a separate incident in which woman criminal investigator Ekaterina Mishkina, 37, fell to her death from a fifth-floor window after testifying against her former police boss in an extortion case in Khabarovsk.

    Alexandrovskaya famously skated with Harley Windsor, the first indigenous Australian to compete at the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea.

    How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

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    She had been 2017 Junior World Champion and Junior Grand Prix Final champion the same year. She was twice Australian national champion in 2016 and 2018.

    A report in Moscow said she had been suffering from depression after getting injured when she performed in Canada.

    It was also reported she had turned to psychologists.

    Reports say police found a note saying: “I love.”

    There has been no official comment from police or her family.

    Two years ago she told how she had thought she was heading for Vienna not Sydney when she switched from Russia to Australia.

    “My coach told me they had a partner for me in Australia and I thought it was Austria,” she said.

    “I didn’t understand: Austria or Australia when I (told) my mum.

    “One month later, I go to Australia. My mum (stayed) in Moscow. I didn’t speak English, except maybe ‘Hey, how are you?’”

    Separately in Khabarovsk, police are probing the death of Mishkina who was in plainclothes as she gained access to a nine-floor apartment building before plunging to her death.

    How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

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    It was some three miles from her home. She is known to have testified against her boss who faced a criminal extortion case.

    She was regarded as a key witness and the retired police officer is facing trial, say reports.

    The investigator had left a set of “key tasks” for completion by a certain point. The woman was divorced and is survived by her 14 year old daughter.

    It follows at least five cases of doctors falling from windows during the coronavirus crisis in Russia.

    Khabarovsk is currently the focus of large protests against Vladimir Putin and in favour of the regional governor who has been arrested on charges of organising murders 15 years ago.

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    How to Become an Olympic Figure SkaterOlympic glory doesn’t come cheap. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    • Figure skating is one of the most glamorous sports in the Winter Olympics — but it’s not cheap.
    • Figure skaters are required to spend money on elaborate costumes, private coaches, skates, travel, physical therapy, and more.
    • It can cost between $35,000 and $50,000 a year, if not more.

    Figure skating is one of the most popular sports in the Winter Olympics. But just how much does it actually cost to become an Olympic figure skater?

    It turns out that dedication, perseverance, and a pretty costume do not a successful Olympian make: skaters have to shell out an insane amount of cash — between $35,000 and $50,000 annually — to even qualify for the Olympics, let alone take home the gold.

    So where does all the money go? Let’s break it down.

    Practice time and private lessons

    How to Become an Olympic Figure SkaterMadison Chock and Evan Bates didn’t become this in sync by accident. Matthew Stockman/Getty

    Intermediate skaters and above will require — at minimum — three to four 45-minute practice sessions per day, about six times a week. Olympian skaters are likely training for longer, and Money, after interviewing skaters’ families, estimates that private coaching fees range from $65 to $120 per hour.

    Calculate in the costs of supplemental coaches and choreographers, which can run between $1,500 to $5,000 annually for a single program, per Money, and you’re already spending well over $1,000 a week just to train.

    Costumes, skates, and beauty How to Become an Olympic Figure SkaterTonya Harding’s lace was broken at the 1994 Olympics. John Gaps III/AP

    While handmade outfits were the norm back in the day, these days most skaters solicit high-end designers to create their showstopping costumes. These can cost anywhere between $500 and $5000, with The Gloss estimating the median price for an Olympic dress to be around $3,000 — and that’s not including skates, which can set you back around $1,000 to $1,500 at the Olympic level.

    Unfortunately for competitors, skates and costumes aren’t recyclable. It’s standard for Olympians to wear out their skates annually, and that’s not to mention the price of upkeep; skating blades need to be sharpened, and laces need to be maintained.

    Finally, figure skaters often choose to shell out cash for professional hair and makeup services, which run between $90-$140 per application.

    Travel and miscellaneous costs How to Become an Olympic Figure SkaterAdam Rippon is an American figure skater. Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

    Airfare isn’t cheap, and skaters are not only tasked with flying themselves out to various arenas and venues to compete, but often will end up paying for their coach’s travel expenses as well, which can cost up to $10,000 per year. Per Money, many skaters will also spring for regular physical therapy and massages to ensure that they’re at optimal capacity, which can run up to $350 per session.

    Also important to note is that most Olympic skaters begin their careers extremely early — and the costs rack up every year. United States competitor Bradie Tennell recently shared an Instagram throwback of her second competition; she was six years old. Now, 14 years worth of private lessons and countless pairs of outgrown skates later, she’s competing at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

    Want more? Read all of our coverage of the Winter Olympics here.

    Sign up here to get INSIDER’s favorite stories straight to your inbox.

    Read the original article on INSIDER. Follow INSIDER on Facebook. Copyright 2018. Follow INSIDER on Twitter.

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    Hi im 12 years old and started skating 2 years ago Ive already landed my axel in les than two weeks and is close to landing double loop flip and sow and I train 2-3 times a week am i too old to become an Olympic Skater?

    12 Respostas

    How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

    If you love what you are doing, just skate your heart out and see how well you can do. But be realistic. Of all the hopefuls out there, only a handful make the Olympics; in skating I would guess most have had intensive training since early childhood.

    A long time! Most of the elite skaters started when they were very young (about 3-5 years old), and their parents poured tons of money into several lessons and practice sessions a week. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done if someone starts later (Johnny Weir started when he was 12). But it will take a lot of time, money, and desire to succeed. Most serious skaters have a lesson at least 3 times per week (if not more), and practice before and after school for about 3-5 hours a day. Then they also take ballet, do cardio off-ice, stretching, pilates, and weight-lifting. Only a tiny percentage of those skaters will eventually be considered elite. Even if your daughters don’t/can’t get that far, skating can be very worthwhile. Most who stick with it have the capability to learn double jumps if they work hard. Every test level passed is an achievement. Competitions and shows can be a lot of fun. And the feeling you get when you finally land a jump is the best!

    How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

    No! Whatever you are doing is working for you so keep doing it. I am also 12 well in 3 days I will be 12. You have excelled very quickly. I am working on double loops, double flips, and double lutzes and I have been skating for 6 and 1/2 years. I also want to go to the Olympics. See you in 2014.

    How to Become an Olympic Figure Skater

    training 2-3 times a week at the age of 12 will not help you get to the olympics, that’s forsure! by 12 you should have landed at least 1 triple and trainiing at least 5 days a week

    From the time Debi Thomas was a young girl, she wanted to grow up to become two things: a renowned figure skater and a practicing physician. She did both.

    In the 1980s, Thomas captured the world’s attention from the moment she got onto the ice. While studying for her engineering degree at Stanford University, Thomas won both the U.S. and World Championships. She soon set her sights on Olympic gold. Though her stumbles at the 1988 Olympics in Calgary cost her first place, Thomas took home the bronze and became the first African-American athlete to medal at any Winter Olympics. Then, after a successful figure skating career, Thomas went on to fulfill her second dream. She became a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, eventually opening up her own private practice in Richlands, Virginia.

    Today, however, Thomas’ successes seem worlds away.

    In between the Olympics and the World Championships, Thomas got married, but says the relationship crumbled after just three years because her husband felt lost in the midst of her popularity. As with her professional stumbles at the Winter Games, Thomas considered this personal stumble to be a failure. Then, more failures: As a physician, Thomas says her high expectations led her to go head-to-head with colleagues, and she was let go from two jobs. Though she had never really wanted to open up her own practice, she did. That’s when another divorce led Thomas to lose her nest egg, she says, and she soon had to close her private practice after two years.

    Thomas is currently broke, jobless, twice-divorced and living in a bug-infested mobile home in a trailer park with her fiancé and his two sons. She even lost custody of her own 13-year-old boy, and her fiancé struggles to control both his alcohol use and his anger. Thomas knows it’s time to turn her life around, so she asks life coach Iyanla Vanzant to help her face some harsh truths on a path toward healing.

    Because Thomas’ own trailer is so disorderly and infested with bed bugs, she and Iyanla meet in Iyanla’s RV to have a frank conversation about how Thomas’ life dissolved into its current state.

    “You got to a point where you couldn’t afford to do anything other than live in a trailer. Is that what I’m hearing you say?” Iyanla asks.

    “Yeah, I guess that’s about right,” Thomas admits.

    Iyanla asks the 48-year-old how it makes her feel to live in a trailer. Thomas’ answer shocks her.

    “[I feel] frustrated,” Thomas says.

    “Frustrated?” Iyanla repeats. “Not sad, not angry, not ashamed?”

    “No,” Thomas responds.

    “Not guilty that you’ve got a man, two kids and a bedbug infestation in a trailer?” Iyanla continues. “Frustration is what you feel? Nothing else?”

    Thomas shakes her head, and Iyanla gets ready to share the harsh truth she believes Thomas needs to hear.

    “This is what I know: You’re living in a trailer in the Appalachian Mountains and your son ain’t with you!” Iyanla shouts. “You’re raising somebody else’s children! So, you can tell me whatever you want to tell me. Telling yourself the truth is important.”

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