Luge and snowboarding, skiing and skating — get ready for cold-weather speed and skill at the 2018 Winter Olympics, this February 9 – 25 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
As Team USA gears up for its first races down snowy mountains and across icy rinks, we spoke with five young Olympic hopefuls from Central PA and asked them about their gold-medal dreams.
Today, we meet Teah Banks, a 10-year-old figure skater with her eye on the top of the podium.
School: St. Margaret Mary’s School, fourth grade.
Member of Central Pennsylvania Figure Skating Club; competes at Juvenile level; practices at Twin Ponds East in Harrisburg
Coaches: Janice Reinke, Oleg Petrov, Doris Papenfuss
How did you get started in figure skating?
My grandmother had all her grandchildren try ice skating with public skating. I saw people skating and I wanted to do what they were able to do.
What do you like most about your sport?
Doing competitions and bringing home the medal.
What do you wear to practice and compete?
For practice I wear my ice skates, leggings, t-shirt and jacket. For competitions I get a pretty dress with a matching hair piece.
What is a skill/move that you enjoy doing?
Flip jump. You put you right leg up to make an h-shape, with your arms to the front and right to the side. Then you do a three-turn on your left foot, put your right foot down, jump and turn in the air.
What is a new skill you are working on right now?
Double salchow. It’s challenging to get the rotation to complete the jump.
Tell us about one of your favorite competitions.
Keystone State Games at White Rose Figure Skating Club in York. I competed against five other girls and came in second. My routine was a fun one with lots of jumps.
Who is a figure skater you admire?
Surya Bonaly. She is a very powerful skater. She is the only person until today that can do the Bonaly – a back flip and land on one foot.
What’s your athlete’s motto?
Mrs. Janice tells me, never say the F word – “FALL.”
What are your long-term goals in figure skating?
I would like to be a competitor in the Olympics.