Kiri Baga: "Representing the U.S. internationally is such an honor"

Interview by Vladislav Luchianov

Kiri Baga is the 2009 U.S. novice champion. Kiri began skating when she was 2 ½. Took learn-to-skate classes when she was 5. Has been coached by Lorie Charbonneau since she was 9. She and her mother had to drive three hours each way for several years to get to practice 2-3 times a week. Is the youngest of five children. Sister, Courtney, skates, competes and coaches. 

Hobbies include dancing and reading. What sets her apart from others is her drive to work hard at everything she has a passion for. Kiri moved up to the Junior level for the 2009-2010 season. She made her international debut on the 2009-2010 ISU Junior Grand Prix. At her first event, in Germany, she won the short program and placed second in the free skating to win the competition overall. Following that win, she was assigned to the event in Turkey as her second event. Kiri skated to a 7th place finish at the Junior Grand Prix Final.

After her skating career, she hopes to skate in shows, study nutrition, coach and participate in acting. Her mother competed in swimming at the national level. Biggest life-defining moment was winning the 2009 U.S. novice title. Helps beginning skaters.

Hello Kiri! I’m glad you’ve found time for the interview for our edition. First I’d like to congratulate you on your excellent performance at the Junior Grand Prix Final.

KIRI: Thank you!

- Kiri,when did you feel first time you want to be a figure skater?

- I think the first time I knew I wanted to be a figure skater was my first day of indoor lessons. From that day on I would cry if I didn’t get to go to the rink with my sister.

- What was the most difficult in learning figure skating basics?

- I don’t think there was really anything hard about learning the basics of skating. It was always so much fun. I didn’t worry about how well I was doing, I just skated.

- How do you manage your time between skating,school,free time?

- Sometimes it gets hard to manage skating, school, and free time. I do my best at each thing and I try not to stress out about anything. I always let myself have some fun outside of the rink.

- How many hours per week do you train?

- I train for about 17 hours on the ice per week, and about 5 hours off the ice.

- You are one of the most promising US Junior skaters. Is it because of your hard work on the trainings?

- Thanks! There are a lot of things that help me with my skating. I would say hard work has a lot to do with it. It’s also my great coach, family, and friends who are always so supportive of me.

- For athletes it is an usual thing to travel from country to another to the competitions. How do you take long distances?

- Representing the US internationally is such an honor. It’s so much fun, and I get so much experience every time I compete. This year I was a little overwhelmed with all of it, but I’m already excited for the next time I get to do this.

- What is your the most memorable competition? 

- I would probably say that my most memorable competitions have been the US Nationals last year, where I competed as a Novice, and my first Junior Grand Prix, in Dresden Germany. They were both great experiences.

- The history of figure skating has a lot of great skaters. Who is your favorite?

- My favorite skaters of all time would probably be Sasha Cohen and Yu-Na Kim. They’re both amazing.

- The US Championships are on the doorstep. What do you think about it?

- US Nationals is coming up very fast. I’m very excited to compete, Nationals is such a fun competition. I’m training hard so I’ll feel ready when it comes.

- What is your main dream in figure skating?

- My main dream in skating is to compete at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

- Kiri,it was very nice to talk to you! I wish you a great performances in the all your next competitions! And a good health,of course. Good luck!

- Thank you very much! The same to you.

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