Figure skaters busy training on ice during hot summer

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 3:11 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2021 at 5:31 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - It might be the dog days of summer, but skaters are using this time to practice their hardest, getting everything ready for the upcoming competition season and also using this time to get rid of distractions and just skate.

“I like skating because when I get on the ice, I just feel like I can do whatever I want and let everything go and just skate because I love it,” said Sophie Nye, 12, a figure skater.

Nye is spending the end of summer preparing for her upcoming competition season.

“We’re working on a whole lot of stuff,” she said. “We are just buckling down and getting ready to go working on all my jumps and spins and everything helping to make it very precise.”

Because the biggest competition of the season is in October, this is the time of year figure skaters get to spend the most time perfecting their programs.

“You’re training harder, you’re doing a lot of off-ice conditioning, you are developing new programs trying to up your skill game so the consistency is there, more ice time, more frequency, more consistency,” said Martha Harding, a figure skating coach.

The Champlain Valley Figure Skating Club is made up of skaters of all levels from tots to seniors.

Harding, who has been coaching for more than 40 years, says the sport is all about accountability and perseverance no matter what level skaters are at. She hopes the sport gives all skaters a chance to love being on the ice and achieve the skills they want to master.

“You’re hoping that they’ll finish with the success that they started out wanting,” Harding said.

“It’s a great way to build friendships, it’s a great way to stay in shape and it’s a great way to stay cool in the summer,” figure skater Heidi Evans said.

For Nye, she says not only does skating teach her about perseverance, the lessons she’s learned in skating stretch far beyond the frozen surface.

“If I fail or fall on a jump or something, I just get back up. And that helps in school because I can tell myself I can do it I can get back up,” Nye said.

Champlain Valley Figure Skating Club has options for any skater regardless of age or skill level to learn how to glide across the ice.

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