Perhaps it’s the costumes, the music or maybe, just maybe it’s the fact that these athletes are so trained, so full of skill that they make something extremely difficult look incredibly easy, graceful and elegant.
“I think many people just don’t understand how tough figure skating is,” said 2010 Copper Cup Chairperson Kim Jones. “The use of different muscle groups, the balance, concentration, flexibility and endurance to do a program is amazing.
“Then throw in the fact that these athletes are doing all of this on skates and it is really something.”
Jones explained the intense training figure skaters are put through to reach their goals. First, much of that training takes place when others are sound asleep when ice time is available. But, like their hockey playing counterparts, figure skaters know this is a sacrifice necessary to be successful.
“There is no off-season, really,” Jones said. “To be a top caliber figure skater they can’t take time off. Even a few weeks will drop them back.”
Along with other aspects of skating itself, athletes are required to weight train, learn to jump while standing on the ground before they are ever allowed to try on the ice.
In addition, dance training, appropriate dieting and getting the right amount of rest all come into play for those wishing to be successful.
“These figure skaters you see sacrifice and are athletes as much as anyone in any sport,” Jones said.
They just look nicer when competing.