Winkler Skating Toward Team USA, International Assignment


Lauren Van Gheem, Staff Writer, Journalism I

“I enjoy figure skating because it is fun and challenging,” said Payton Winkler, an accomplished and determined figure skater. Winkler attends Notre Dame Academy as a sophomore.

Winkler first started skating at age eight when his mom put him and his brother in skating lessons, so they could skate outdoor in the winter.

His coach saw potential in him and said that “he could be a great skater.”

“I have many great friends and I get to meet cool people,” said Winkler.

Winkler dreams of making it on to Team USA and receiving an international assignment. An international assignment “is when Team USA sends a representative to an international competition.”  He hopes to continue skating for at least ten more years.

Winkler recently tore the majority of the ligaments in his ankle after facing a slap tear in his left shoulder earlier this year. “I did all my physical therapy and worked off ice prior to returning,” said Winkler.

Winkler went to nationals at the beginning of the year and placed fifth. “I was not expecting to make it to nationals because it was my first year at the intermediate level. I had just gotten the triples I had to do during the competitions,” said Winkler.

“I still have things to learn about myself and the sport,” he said.

“It is easier for tall skaters to jump higher but first you have to adjust when you grow,” said Winkler. He stands at a medium height of 5 feet 9 inches.

When Winkler skates, he feels a sense of joy and happiness. “I would describe myself as hopeful, determined and gracious,” he said.

Winkler practices seven days a week and three hours a day.  His coaches are Denise Myers and Amy Brolsma. Winkler trains in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, and in Green Bay. He skates as a member of the greater Green Bay Figure Skating Club.

Winkler’s role models are Bradie Tennell, an American figure skater, Yuzuru Hanyu, a Japanese figure skater and Evgenia Medvedeva, a Russian figure skater. “These are my role models because they are very accomplished and they seem like very nice skaters,” said Winkler.