Earlier this year I got to try out ice skating with two wonderful girls who are competing in this glamorous sport. Silja Skulstad Urang (17 years old) and Klara Blitzner (15 years old) from Bergen kunstløpklubb are both competing in figure skating and have won national competitions in different groups. After some time on the ice (read about it here), I got a short interview with them. Read further to see why they love figure skating and how they spend their holidays.
Why did you try out ice skating for the first time?
Klara: Everything started when I was looking at the Olympics in 2010. I saw a lady doing “crossover” and thought “Wow, that was cool!”. My mom signed me up for a ice skating class and I have loved it since.
Silja: I have always though it was fun to do ice skating. I started to do classes when I saw an advertisement in the newspaper about the classes in 2007, and started skating school right away. After just 10 minutes on the ice my first day, they moved me to a better group. It was very fun!
How often do you practice and what is your goal?
Klara: I am practicing kickboxing too, so I practice ice skating 5 times a week and kickboxing 2 times a week. I take Sundays off. I just want to continue until I dont like it anymore.
Silja: I practice ice skating every day except Sundays. I also do strength training, off-ice training, stretching and ballet classes, so I have two or more workouts each day. I want to be as good as possible and see where it takes me.
Why do you think other people should try ice skating?
Ice skating will give you so many different skills. You will be in better shape in general, get stronger and get better balance and coordination. These skills are nice to have in many other sports too. A good example is that you can kick higher in kickboxing, become more explosive and can run faster. The feeling when you manage to do tricks is also amazing.
Do you get to travel much because of the competitions?
We have been traveling a lot to different places in Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Belgium, Luxemburg, Engand and Iceland because of competitions, but before the final day we only focus on the competition. It is not until after the competition that we maybe get some time to relax and see the place.
How do you spend your summer holidays?
In the summer we always go to different summer camps to do ice skating. The camp run by our head coach is in Andorra, a small state between Spain and France. This camp lasts for 3 weeks, and after that many skaters go to another camp in a different country. The ice rink in Bergen is closed in the summer, so we have to travel if we want to practice. In the summer camps we have around 5 hours of practice each day + warm up. On Saturdays we have 2 hours of fun like ice skating in couples, competitions or just ice skating for fun.
The girls use a lot of their time to practice, but ice skating can also be fun without competing. I will make a blogpost about simple tricks to practice on, so sign up for my newsletter to me updated. I also run into the adult group who was only practicing 2 times a week and were traveling around in Europe to compete and have fun. So if you don’t want to spend your whole week ice skating, you can always join the adult group.