Profiles on Nicole Bobek & Tonia Kwiatkowski – 1997 U.S. Figure Skating Championships


thousands of young athletes across the country chase the dream of becoming national champion this year only 21 senior ladies have earned their way to Nashville each of them bringing their own methods and manners to the sport to skaters who have inspired young dreamers our Tanya quiet Kowski and Nicole Bobek my style is skating I would finally say artistic very artistic I feel when I’m out there on the ice it depends on the music I’m skating too I can really express the feeling out there and it’s something I’ve always been able to do when I was young I just put on music for hours and hours or just skate I think some of my strengths is just being tight in jumps and that’s something that I’ve always done even as a little girl I’ve really worked on the other side the choreography making the whole program mean something as skaters both Tanya and Nicole have risen to the same elite level but their past at the top are as opposite as day and night I am a total free spirit sometimes sometimes I just want to be funky yeah I am Who I am and I feel it’s really it’s really like dumb if you hide behind a mask and pretend that you’re something else because it’s not you well nicole has taken a rebels approach Tania has followed a more conventional path she has stayed with the same coach former gold medalist Carol heist Eakins for 17 years Tania has also attended and graduated from college while continuing to train at the elite skaters level and at age 26 is still improving at a sport where teenagers rule I don’t understand why they have to say oh she’s the oldest competitors and what difference does it make it does not make any difference at all as long as you love what you’re doing and you want to do it and it shouldn’t matter to strong women’s two unique approaches you know we are different she’s had a lot of coaches I’ve had one coach but it works for you know and that’s it may be a different upbringing but you know you go with what works well the skaters differences are clear-cut both have an identical goal I’ll win here at Nationals and surprisingly they both agree on what it takes to get there I mean you have to have talent a lot of discipline parents that are supportive a lot of commitment you have to Train you have to worry about your hair how you dress I think you have to enjoy what you’re doing that’s probably the most important thing you well it is said the variety is the spice of life we see that with Nicole and Tanya and we find further proof of that down ringside with our skating team

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