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Student Spotlight: Olivia Pasinski on the ice

Erin Anderson, Staff Writer

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Student Athletes at Nazareth are exceptional, but there are some who go above and beyond, like Sophomore Olivia Pasinski who won first place in the Skate the Lake figure skating competition on August 27, 2017 in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.

Pasinski has been skating for 13 years, and has been competing for 11. Most years, she competes either once or twice a month, but she has recently cut back. “Due to my busy summer schedule, I only competed once this year and performed in two ice shows,” she says.

To date, she has collected 71 medals and 17 trophies for her achievements: 33 of which are for first place. Along with that astounding number of awards, Pasinski has also received four “special achievement” awards.

Pasinski says that the special achievement awards are “awarded by the judging panel to an upper-level skater who went above and beyond in an element such as a jump, spin, or footwork step-sequence. Two of the awards are for jumps, and the other two are for my biellmann spin, my favorite and best spin.”

Competing definitely highlights a skater’s abilities, but one must also acknowledge all the hard work that goes into creating and choreographing the elaborate routines. Pasinski practices about ten hours each week during the summer. During the school year, however, she skates around seven hours a week, usually before the school day even starts.

Pasinski added to her to-do list and recently took on the role of choreographer. “This year, I choreographed my own routines, and each took me about three hours.”

The life of a competitive ice skater is not easy, so in June of 2016, Pasinski took a step back. “I made the hard choice to quit my old team and leave my old coaches, while also taking a break from skating altogether.” She explains, “My schedule wouldn’t allow me to enjoy my summer vacation and attend all of my friends’ graduation parties, which we all understood would probably be the last item we would be all together in the same place for a very long time.”

By the fall she decided to pick up the sport again because she had truly missed it, but decided to take it slowly and start by finishing her skating tests. She wasn’t sure if she would once again reach the skill level at where she left off, but her coach saw the potential in her to compete again, so she took the chance.

“For me to compete again and take first place was a huge accomplishment for me this year, and it took a lot of hard work, but it was so worth it and gratifying in the end,” says Pasinski.

Plans for the future consist of completing her “gold” tests, and broadening her horizons by training with an ice dance coach. Pasinski is well on her way to completing those tests, tests that most skaters don’t even complete by the end of high school.

Pasinski words of advice to student athletes is truly inspiring. “Nothing will come easy, but with practice, hard work, grit, and determination your dream is possible. You have to train both your mind and body for what you want to do, and stay positive throughout your journey. It won’t be all happy and pretty, and it’s okay to have bad days, but the most important thing is to get back up and keep going.”

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