Our Wonderkid Wednesday Feature for this week is Amandine Cohu; Figure Skater at the Emirates Skating Club and student of The British International School, Abu Dhabi.
After taking part in the Emirates Skating Spring in Abu Dhabi, GYS caught up with the 17-year-old to find out more about her figure skating journey.
How does it feel to take part in the Emirates Skating Spring Cup?
“The Cup consists of different events for different levels, which are then grouped to take a total of podiums by team members to make a team score, therefore the Emirates Skating Spring Cup itself can only be won as a team. I myself won in an event in the highest level of this competition. It has been challenging this year to balance my heavy IB study schedule with intense figure skating training and has made preparing for this competition very challenging. I am above all very proud to have performed a clean program to achieve this placement as it is rewarding considering the difficulties and the efforts I have put in.”
When and how did you get into Figure Skating?
“I started competitive figure skating at age 11. We had a school trip to the ice rink and I loved it so much that I immediately knew that I had to start taking lessons.”
What is your training schedule like?
“I skate every day. On school days, training is from 6-7am before school starts, and we also have fitness classes some afternoons. On the weekends I skate 3-4 hours between Friday and Saturday mornings and have 1 hour of fitness as well.”
How do you balance School Work and Figure Skating?
“It is challenging but skating in the mornings on school days does facilitate my time management as I have more time to work in the afternoons. The biggest difficulty is sustaining the energy to wake up at 5 every day and train, go to school and then study and complete assignments in time.”
Who is your Role Model?
“My role model is a figure skater, Evgenia Medvedeva, 2018 Olympic silver medallist, who I admire for her extremely determined and hardworking personality, and the passion and emotions visible in her performance, which are very important in figure skating.”
What is your biggest achievement so far?
“Winning a competition in France which was involved in the national qualifiers, in December of 2018 which has been the hardest year for me to compete in due to the amount of workload from being in sixth form in the IBDP.”
What are your dreams and aspirations for the future?
“I am going to study economics in the UK, and aspire to apply to LSE, Warwick University, and St Andrews.”
Anybody you would like to thank for supporting you to achieve this?
“My parents have been incredibly supportive in financing trainings, travelling to competitions and summer training camps which are all very important in this sport. They have also supported me emotionally through the many ups and downs in my six years of skating. My coaches as well have played a huge role in my progress as their support, advice and teaching keep pushing me forward.”
What advice would you give to a youngster thinking of taking up the sport?
“Figure skating, just like any sport, requires a lot of dedication and perseverance. I think any person starting figure skating should, and probably will, truly enjoy it and be ready to put in their best effort. To me, motivation is the key to improving not only in figure skating but in any sport.”
Click the link to watch her performance https://youtu.be/gNSlYnEDAHQ