A daddy-daughter skating class when she was just four years old was all it took for Orange Lutheran senior Emily Meyer to be bit by the figure skating bug. She started lessons soon after and has been skating ever since.
“I really like how independent it is, how it’s just me and I can do my own thing,” says Meyer.
Training out of The Rinks in Yorba Linda, a typical schedule for Meyer pre-Covid included arriving at the rink each day by 6:00 am for a two-hour practice before heading to campus for school. The pandemic has limited her access to the ice to just a few mornings a week, but she is staying connected to the sport as much as possible.
“It was kind of hard at first because I would train every morning before school, and I was used to the routine of it,” says the 18-year old. “I love skating, so stopping it suddenly was very hard for me. My family is very athletic so we would get out and run and do other things to stay active.”
The pandemic has halted Meyer’s favorite part of figure skating – competitions – her chance to display her skills and strength with a bit of personality thrown in for good measure.
“Being able to perform in front of people and being able to show people…it’s fun to bring out my personality in it,” says Meyer. “On the competitive side, it’s nice to be rewarded and show that all the hard work paid off.”
Although competitions are currently on hold, Meyer was recently able to complete her senior level of testing, a figure skating evaluation structure that requires skaters to perform specific moves like edges, turns, and spirals. Skaters are evaluated by judges and progress through each level once the skills are mastered. After years of working toward this goal, she has completed all the levels, earning a gold medal for her efforts.
Fourteen years of figure skating means Meyer has had to sacrifice plenty in order to be where she is at in the sport. She has experienced her share of tears, falls on the ice, and even a few stitches. But the confidence she has gained through challenging herself has been worth it.
“It’s hard work, and it’s not easy,” says Meyer. “Pushing myself to get back up and keep going each day is how I get through it.”
Off the ice, Meyer is a two-year OLu Ignite Leader. Last year she worked with incoming freshmen, and this year she is helping transfer students find their way as new Lancers.
“I enjoy being able to have all the new kids come in and be there for them as a mentor to help them and answer any questions they have,” says Meyer. “I really like helping people and being there for someone.”
After graduation, Meyer will be attending the University of Arizona where she will pursue a career in sports broadcasting. Her hope is to continue figure skating, and she plans to connect with coaches and rinks near her new college home.
Meyer feels her attitude on the ice is a reflection of her faith, and it brings her comfort to know that God is on her side, regardless of how she performs. She is grateful for the support of her longtime coach, Michelle, as well as her mother, as they both have been key in her skating career.
“My mom is one of my biggest supporters,” says Meyer. “She’s supported me through everything, and she sees me for who I am. She knows me best, so she knows what’s best for me.”