Members of Figure Skating Team use sport to learn life lessons
Education junior Lauren McAlinden has always felt at home on the ice. She started skating at 6 years old and has been attached to the sport since.
McAlinden said her parents would take her to the local ice skating rink, where she found her passion.
“I love the feeling of stepping onto the ice and forgetting everything else,” she said. “Being at the rink is like home away from home, an escape from reality essentially.”
Now, McAlinden is a member of the MSU Figure Skating Team, which consists of approximately 30 skaters who compete and perform throughout the semester.
She said figure skating has taught her important life lessons.
“You always get knocked down 10 times before you get it right, so it’s staying persistent and not giving up is the biggest thing,” McAlinden said.
The team brought the heat to the ice during the Fire and Ice event hosted by the University Activities Board on March 25 at Munn Ice Arena. The event was a chance for the team to perform for its peers.
Chemistry junior Emily Kochan has been on the team for three years. She has been skating for more than 13 years.
“I went to a birthday party for a friend and it was at the ice rink,” Kochan said. “I loved it so much that I begged my mother to take me back.”
Kochan is currently on the e-board for the team. She said the team does a lot of social events and is relaxed.
“College skating is normally represented by synchronized skating, so when people come to college a lot of them don’t know about us,” Kochan said. “It is good to get our voice out there and know that you can still skate in college and not do the hyper-competitiveness of synchronized skating.”
Since learning to skate, Kochan said there have been a lot of different challenges that skaters face. One of those challenges is balance. Kochan said it took her a year and a half to gain full balance on the ice.
“You see a lot of people go out there and they don’t have the balance,” Kochan said. “Balance is built up over time for this sport.”
Kochan said she has met most of her closest friends since joining the team. The team is open for students to join and she encouraged others to join.
“The most rewarding thing is being able to go to a competition and absolutely do fantastic because you have put in all that time and effort and just nailing what you go out there to do,” Kochan said. “It is really an amazing feeling.”
Business sophomore Alyssa Perry has been on the team for two years and started skating when she was 6 years old. Perry said after skating for so long she still finds challenges she has to overcome.
“The biggest challenge is your overall form,” Perry said. “If you go into a jump even slightly wrong it’s magnified 100 times during the jump than when you land ... I don’t think people really realize how much technique you need to skate.”
Perry gave a performance to the music of the The Jonas Brothers during the Fire and Ice event. She said performing with the team is one of the most rewarding parts for her.
“It gives you something to work on and for me it’s really taught me that when you fall down you have to get back up,” Perry said. “You have to always keep trying and really push through if you’re having difficulties with something. It taught me to keep going through hard times.”