Joanne Oh Lands Double Axel in Figure Skating
by Annie Moreno
Walkersville High School, junior Joanne Oh has been a competitive figure skater ever since she was seven years old. It is amazing that we have such a good figure skater here a Walkersville High School, and it is amazing what she has accomplished with this fabulous sport.
Figure skating works in levels. It starts with basics 1-8 and then it goes up to freestyle levels 1-6. After passing the freestyle levels the skater can either choose to do singles, pairs, and synchronized skating which is all competitive skating. Many skaters also decide to do theatre on ice. Some skaters use their skills to do more than one of these.
Oh is a singles figure skater because she likes the elements in it. Elements are referring to the spins and jumps that you need to be able to do for singles skating. There are many levels in singles to that go all the way up to national levels and even further. Oh is at the novice level and she plans to move up to the junior level.
Oh talks about the sport and what it takes; “You fall a lot, and it’s really hard to be consistent because there are a lot of things that go into the elements. It is physically demanding on the body. You need core strength, leg strength, and flexibility.” There are a couple of main jumps in figure skating including the axel, the salcow, the toeloop, the flip, the lutz, and the loop. Oh describes her favorite moves, “My favorite move is the axel and the flying sit.” The flying sit is a jump and then a sit spin.
Oh answers, “My best moment on the ice was when I landed my double axel, and then when I first landed it in a competition. It is that great feeling of accomplishment and finally getting it.” Oh also reveals that her greatest moment of glory on the ice was when she won the South Atlantic Regionals for 2012 Open Juvenile. Every skilled athlete has to have practiced for hours, so Oh says, “I practice six days a week in the afternoon or the evening. In the summertime I practice in the mornings as well.”
Oh shares with us her favorite costume ever worn for one of her many competitions. She said “My favorite costume is from my latest competition this year. It has a pale blue top and a black skirt. There is a silver feather spread across the front, and another across the back.”
Oh tells us that she has only done theatre on ice once, and she was really little. She was a munchkin in The Wizard of Oz. She admits that after all these years of skating she still gets nervous before a competition. “I have less nerves than I used to have, but I still get nervous. My coach gives me stress balls to squeeze before I step on the ice.”
It is wonderful to have a Walkersville High School student who is so skilled and talented. Oh contributes to our amazing sense of school pride.