The College of Charleston’s Figure Skating Club is only one year old and not yet top-of-mind around campus.
But that’s not likely to be the case much longer after the club’s president, senior psychology major Jacquelin Zimmerman, recently won a bronze medal at the 2014 U.S. Collegiate Figure Skating Championships in Rochester, Mich.
The College Today caught up with Zimmerman to discuss her award-winning performance, how the club got started and what its future holds.
Q: Congratulations on your bronze medal! Tell us about the competition and how you prepared?
A: The competition was a USFSA (United States Figure Skating Association) sanctioned event open to all Junior and Senior Level college-age freestyle figure skaters. I was so excited to compete at my first Collegiate Nationals at the Junior level, and to have made the podium the first time around has meant so much to me. It has been a very rough 15 years of skating, so seeing it pay off has been incredible.
My training was very strenuous and tiring as I would train off the ice with my personal trainer for an hour, three times a week and skate about two hours each day and sometimes go back in the afternoon after my internship for an additional hour.
Q: What’s your skating background and what are you studying at the College?
A: I started skating when I was 6 years old and started competing one year later. I have competed in six South Atlantic Regional Championship Qualifying Competitions. I have also performed in many holiday shows at my home rink in Potomac, Maryland.
Here at the College, I am studying to be a sports psychologist. Having grown up in such an athletic field, I have fallen in love with sports and nutrition and cannot wait to help athletes achieve their optimal physical ability through achieving their best mentality.
Q: Many in the College community might not be aware that we have a figure skating club. How did the club get started and how often do you compete?
A: I started the club in the spring of my sophomore year (2013), and last academic year was our first competitive year in USFSA. Unfortunately, I was the only one to travel and compete, but we do have about five skaters. There are three intercollegiate competitions each year, and this year we hope to qualify for the 2015 Intercollegiate Championships.
Q: What are the club’s future plans?
A: We hope to gain many more skaters this year, and I would love to watch the club grow once I graduate next year. We are still very new and our chances of qualifying for Intercollegiate Championships are very low due to the low number of skaters, but as the club becomes more prevalent on campus, I am sure we will gain the skaters we need to become one of the best skating clubs in the country.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: It has been so amazing to finally be able to represent my school through the sport I love so much. It has not been an easy ride, but I would not change anything about the experience. It means so much to have our amazing school supporting me and the club, and that is truly all I can ask for. I hope I can continue to make the college proud and to bring figure skating on to the Southern radar.