Mia Tepic’s passion for figure skating sparked while watching the Olympics with her mother. She joined the Grand Rapids Figure Skating Club when she was nine years old and has been skating ever since.
Mia takes part in annual figure skating competitions with her team. This year, the season starts in May with the Lansing Van Camp Invitation on March 13th. Her favorite memory from a competition was the first competition of last season. She skated a clean program, landing all of her jumps and completing all of her spins. This achievement was particularly gratifying for Mia because she started off with a great skate after having a rough season the previous year. She ended the season better than she started, with a 7th place finish at the Eastern Great Lake Regionals in October.
Mia practices year-round. She skates four to five times each week and does off-ice conditioning on the other days. Competition season is usually spent perfecting routines and the offseason is spent practicing old skills and learning new ones. Mia approaches new skills with nervousness and excitement. To practice jumps, she is harnessed to the ceiling and lifted in the air. She has fallen many times while learning new jumps and practicing old skills. While she has messed up her hips and twisted muscles, she has been lucky enough to avoid breaking any bones. The most difficult jump that she has mastered is the double luntz, which involves revolutions in the air and landing on one foot. In the near future, she hopes to accomplish the double axel, one of figure skating’s most difficult jumps.
Mia believes that “figure skating is one of the most difficult sports because it combines artistry with athleticism.” Despite the sport’s difficulty, practicing is often her favorite part of the day. She said, “ it clears my mind and allows me to express myself creatively.” Mia plans to continue her career with competitive figure skating in college, possibly with the University of Michigan or Harvard.