Gliding to gold

Seventh grader shows grit on the frigid ice


Hannah Smith

Under the eyes of many spectators, Samantha Nothnagel, 7th, grade practices at the rink inside the Chelsea Arctic Coliseum.

On the ice rink at the Arctic Coliseum in Chelsea, Michigan, Samantha Ann Nothnagel gets off to a gliding pace with a look fierce concentration. She waits. Then, with her momentum, she leaps into the air and twist and lands back on the ice. With a loud click, it is known that her practice has paid off.

Skaters like Nothnagel put all the effort they can muster to training for the big events that will make or break their careers as skaters. They must perfect their tricks knowing that even with the smallest slip, they could sustain an injury.

“Yes, there have been more injuries. This can likely be attributed to the fact skaters are performing a greater number of repetitions and more revolutions at a younger ages,” according to the United States Figure Skating Association. “Their bodies are not strong enough to handle the stress that is being placed upon them.”

The extents most skaters go through tend to mostly revolve around managing their reflexes, which transforms skating into an even harder sport. Nothnagel practices by perfecting her jumps and spins and making sure her routines meets the high standards she has.

She does not just do this without reason. Her motivation for the training and practice seem to have relations with her love, skating. Nothnagel said, “I skate mostly for the love of it. I also like competing.”

Nothnagel has competed in numerous competitions, showing her dazzling skills that have won her over 20 twenty medals ranging from first to fourth place. She placed 8th place at the 2017 Great Lakes Regionals competition. Nothnagel thinks, “Just believe in yourself and only focus on your skating.”

She uses this philosophy to build off of to glide past the competition and win time after time. Nothnagel has trained for more than seven years and seems ready to take on the bombastic, highly competitive world of ice skating.

On her way to the Tri-States competition this coming April, Nothnagel is preparing for her long journey to Regionals this upcoming fall. To compete in this competitive arena, Nothnagel said, “If don’t try your best, then you’re not really giving it your all.”