NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – How much work does it take to reach an elite level of competition like at the US Figure Skating Championships which ended on Sunday at Bridgestone Arena?
Making a jump easy takes a lot of hard work, both on and off the ice.
Everything is happening under the watchful eye of elite coaches like Kori Ade.
“We just want to be a warm and welcoming place where children feel safe, supported and love whatever is possible,” said Ade.
It all includes competing for the national championship like last week in Nashville.
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Most of the people who competed for the national championship in Nashville had been on the ice for 15 years, working for this time.
“Before puberty is a great time for athletes to start skating, anywhere between three and I will say 10 is ideal,” said Ade.
The idea: to make children addicted to skating when it’s just for fun.
“I love ice skating because all of my friends are here,” said Scarlett Bradley.
When they start setting goals, they’re ready to do the toughest things, like on a roller-coaster ride where skaters gain the strength and skills needed for quick spins.
“It’s actually, it’s a little scary, but it’s also every time you feel like you’re flying and having a lot of fun,” Bradley said.
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Or working out those awesome jumps with a pole harness, helping skaters overcome what coaches said was the biggest obstacle – fear.
“I can do different things to convince them that they can do things a little beyond what they think they are,” said Eric Mumper, a pole harness specialist.
Ade estimates that those who want to make it to the Olympics spend 40 hours a week sliding on the ice or pushing their endurance in the gym.
“It’s a lifestyle and there will be a fork in the road where every athlete who wants to be competitive will say, ‘What sacrifices do I have to make at this point?’
Sacrifices that can include a move to train with the right trainer.
“I started doing Facetime in New Jersey and it was going really well. I was doing new jumps, my technique improved, my artistic talent improved, ”said Antonio Monaco. “I started going down on my own, and that’s how I can be here and really put in the effort for the qualifying season.”
Monaco shares the ice with Ethan and Eliana Teal, a couple sibling who train in Nashville.
They are some of the best novice skaters in the country right now and finished third at the junior level at the US Championships.
“We love the energy of Nashville. Everyone is so nice and the vibe is great and I think it will be really great to feel that at the nationals, ”said Ethan Teal. “I know we have a lot of family and friends who will be coming this year because the national championships are usually so far away.”
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It is by training skaters like these and bringing events to life in person for the people who Ade hopes will attract more people to the sport in the City of Music that they want to be champions of the United States. or not.
“This concept of high work, you know, married to athleticism and married art, and then what we can feel is the energy, the electrical energy throughout the arena, when it all begins. to get together. It’s pretty amazing, ”Ade said.
“It’s one of the coolest things about skating, is that there is a track for everyone. If you said, ‘Hey, I’m 78. This is my dream. I want to do figure skating, “we will find you a great costume. We will make that dream come true.”
The Teals won bronze at the US Junior Figure Skating Championship last week.
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