Figure Skaters Persist in Love of Sport

Aeva Ver Boort, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

The ice skating team at Notre Dame Academy first started with the older Slusarek sisters and a few other local skaters, but after they graduated the team stopped.  Lily Brabazon’s and Sophie Le Mieux’s freshman year, 2015, was when the team started back up again.

That ice skating team consisted of seven people: LeMieux, Brabazon, Payton Winkler, Ingrid Hirte (‘16 graduate), Erika Odberg (‘17 graduate), Rachel Johnson and Emmaline Teska (from Ashwaubenon).  Only LeMieux, Brabazon and Winkler are still on it.

Most of the members on the team have been skating since they were little. The team practices six days a week.  

“I skate at 5:30 a.m. before school on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and after school on Tuesday and Thursday. I also skate and coach Learn to Skate on Saturday mornings,” said Brabazon.    

They usually practice at either Cornerstone or De Pere Ice Arena.  Besides skating, some members on the team also do yoga.

The team usually meets together one or two times a week to collaborate about the elements for competition and then spend their own practice time working on them.

When the team redeveloped in 2015, it took a lot of work from Madame Geyeer and the skaters to organize the team.  They had to find uniforms, a coach, and figure out time for practice.  

“The first few competitions we did not know how they worked or the rules, so we pretty much placed last for the first few competitions,” said Brabazon.  

The team’s moderator, not coach, was Madame until Madame left Notre Dame Academy.  Now that she is gone, the team has just been practicing like normal. The team has not competed since 2017, so Madame’s leaving does not have a major impact on the skaters.  

Besides the challenge of losing their moderator, Madame, there are a few other challenges the team has faced.  One challenge was changing their mindsets of individual figure skating into a team perspective so they could reach their goals.    

“Every member of the team earned a varsity letter, and the team earned many gold, silver and bronze metals as well,” said Le Mieux.