Kimmie Meissner: "My love for skating keeps me going"

Interview by Vladislav Luchianov

Kimmie Meissner is the 2006 World Champion, 2007 U.S. Champion and 2007 Four Continents Champion. Also captured U.S. titles at the novice (2003) and junior (2004) levels. Won the bronze medal at the 2005 U.S. Championships and the silver at the 2006 U.S. Championships. Placed sixth at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. Has won four medals in the Grand Prix Series, including the gold at 2007 Skate America. Placed second at the 2004 World Junior Championships. Withdrew from the 2009 Grand Prix Series because of a knee injury.

Began skating at age 6 when her backyard froze. Participated in the U.S. Figure Skating Basic Skills Program. Has three older brothers. Attends the University of Delaware part time and is majoring in exercise science. Supports the Cool Kids Campaign, which benefits pediatric oncology patients at Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland hospitals. Biggest life-defining moment was when a close friend passed away from leukemia after receiving a bone marrow transplant in March 2004. At a Cool Kids social event with current patients, she even signed one child’s head upon his request, which was bald because of cancer treatments.
Also designed a “Triumph” bracelet to help raise money for the organization and more than 15,000 have been sold.

Prepares care packages for pediatric cancer patients, which include everything from pajamas to iPods. Went on a bobsled run while in Lake Placid, N.Y., for an exhibition. Was the grand marshal of two Independence Day parades on July 4, 2006. Met her longtime hero, Lance Armstrong, at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, where she was nominated for “Best Breakthrough Athlete”. Also met racing sensation Danica Patrick, tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams and NBA star Alonzo Mourning at the event. Hobbies include writing, reading, drawing and most outside sports.

VLAD: Hello Kimmie and thank you for accepting our interview invitation!

KIMMIE: Thank you, Vladislav!

- What competition are still memorized in your career?

- I think my best memory is winning Worlds. It was so unexpected and I just felt so ‘on’ that night. All of my training finally clicked and it was one of the best feelings.

- What is your favorite part of skating? What is your favorite jump/element to perform and which do you feel is the most difficult?

- My favorite part of skating is that I get to be athletic and strong while also being graceful and artistic. It’s such a great combination of the two. My favorite element is probably a triple lutz or an axel.

- What are you focusing on before you take the ice for your warm-up in a competitions?

- Usually before I take the ice I am thinking about all of the hours of training that I have done. I know that I am ready and reminding myself of that is important to me. The rest will happen if I’ve trained well. I also like to focus on the audience. I love the feelings they are projecting. It motivates me.

- What do you draw your inspiration from? What motivates you to keep on going?

- I like to come up with a story for each performance that I do. Usually there is always some character I can try to be or some emotion that I want to portray. I try to think about what it is before I choreograph it. My love for skating keeps me going. It gets really frustrating and tiring sometimes, but reminding myself how much I love it makes me keep pressing forward.

- Outside of skating, is there something you enjoy doing, or do you have any hobbies?

- I love to read and write poetry. I also spend a lot of time drawing. It’s so relaxing to just go, sit on a bench and draw what I see.

- And who of the international skating history is your Number 1?

- This question is so hard! I would say Michelle Kwan is number 1 to me. Watching her is what inspired me to start skating and meeting her only made me admire her more. Yu-Na Kim is great too!

- What are your main goals in skating?

- My main goals right now are to come back from my injury. I’m re-learning my jumps and I think I’ll be more technically sound. I also would love to start doing some more shows and really display my personality on the ice.

- Figure skating brings you to so many places across the world, do you have a favorite?

- This is a hard question too! haha One of my favorite places to go is Paris, but I also loved Holland! It’s hard for me to decide!

- What is next for Kimmie Meissner?

- I don’t know what’s next for me. I’m trying to take everything one day at a time and just enjoy everything I can. As I said, I’m re-learning my jumps and working on my performance skills so hopefully there is a lot more to come, whether it be in shows or competitions!

- When do we see you on the ice again?

- Hopefully you’ll see me on the ice again soon! Finally my injury is healing and I’m jumping again!! I still have some bad days with my knee, but there are more good days than bad. :)

- Great to hear! Kimmie,thank you for the interview! I wish you full recovery and we will be waiting for you!

- Thank you very much!

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