Athlete of the Issue: Victoria Lansing

Bianca Voss For the past fourteen years, Victoria Lansing has been working hard on the ice at her passion: figure skating. She started skating when she was four, and she loves the sport due to its challenging and elegant nature.   “Skating can be beautiful to watch and perform because it combines the fluidity of dancing with the force of something more acrobatic, like gymnastics” said Victoria.   Besides school, figure skating is the most significant part of Victoria’s life. It allows her to express and challenge herself.   Competitive figure skating originated in Europe, and then popularized in the United States by Jackson Haines around the time of the Civil War. In 1921, the United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA) was formed. The USFSA is more competitive than figure skating’s other division, ISI (the Ice Skating Institute). The ISI is geared towards recreational skating. Victoria competes in the USFSA division, and is working hard at completing her Senior MIF test. This will earn her a gold medal and the ability to judge the highest level of figure skating and teach anywhere there is a rink. As a competitive figure skater, Victoria is committed to being the best she can be.  She has a rigorous practice schedule. Each weekday morning, Victoria travels to either Skokie, Wilmette, Winnetka, or the Saddle and Cycle Club to skate. In addition, she dedicates her time skating after school on Mondays and Tuesdays as well as practicing on the weekends.   As a USFSA skater, competitions are a huge part of her life. When preparing for a competition, Victoria plans out every detail in order to ensure a smooth performance.   “I’ll practice everything from when I put my water bottle down to when I take a breath in a program. This way I have less to worry about on the day of the performance and can let muscle memory take over,” said Victoria. Planning out every detail prepares her for the stress of the competition and allows her to have a smooth performance. Skating has been one of the most significant parts of Victoria’s life besides school. Her dedication to the sport sets an example for all young athletes whether they compete individually or on a team.   When asked about how skating is as a team sport versus an individual sport, Victoria said, “Skating is a beautiful sport, but at times it can be solitary.”   Victoria skates on the Latin team, and describes how being on a team is more beneficial because you can improve your skills on the ice while being with other people. She enjoys spending time in this fun environment. Often times the skaters on the team get to select their music and costumes together, and help in choreographing their routines.   One of the greatest parts of being on a team is the balance it allows Victoria to have.   “It’s fun to work on a routine together and is also a great counterweight to the rigid format of USFSA tests,” she said.   As a competitive ice skater, one of the most stressful parts of competing is knowing that all your hard work could got to waste with the slightest mistake. Although this is the reality of competitive skating, Victoria thinks it is “mentally challenging to know that you are judged solely on the one performance the judges see. However, it also forces one to be mentally tough to deal with the pressure and expectations you set for yourself.”   Ice skating has given Victoria the ability express herself “athletically and artistically. It’s also been a great stress-reliever through high school.”   Victoria is grateful for the people she has met through skating and is lucky to have this constant in her life. She sets the perfect example for what all young athletes should strive to be: dedicated, passionate, and resilient.]]>