Sophi_skating – Home & Community Options

For almost as long as she can remember, Sophi Schneider has loved skating. The Saturday mornings and Sunday evenings when she gets to slip on her skates and dart out onto the ice are what she looks forward to all week. “It helps me let go of worries and de-stress,” Sophi shared. “Knowing I have something to go do and enjoy each week is even better.”

Last session, she skated a lot at St. Mary’s – she did some adult group skating, but mostly she skates on her own. In the winter months, she’ll also do a lot of open skates, as well as take advantage of the outdoor ice rink down at the lake.

She first started with group lessons in 3rd or 4th grade, but now she does 1-1 coaching. She has had the same coach this year and last year. “She pushes me hard, which I like,” Sophi shared with a smile. Her coach typically takes care of coming up with both the routine and picking music, and Sophi works hard to practice-practice-practice! For the Christmas exhibition at Bud King this year, Sophi will be picking the song, and her coach will create a routine from the music she chooses.

Sophi started to skate competitively a couple of years ago at a local Bud King event. Last July was her first out-of-town competition in Ames, Iowa, at the State Games of America 2022. Her routine – a mix of spins, jumps, and half flips – also brought a new success for Sophi: her performance awarded her 1st place for her level! Her mom has been a huge support and was in the crowd that day watching. “It was a very special moment and experience,” Sophi recalled.

Her enthusiasm for the sport doesn’t end when she takes her skates off. When she’s not on the ice, she also enjoys watching skating on tv. “I would watch it all day and night!” She looks up to skaters like Michelle Kwan and Nathan Chen (her current favorite male skater).

So, what’s next for Sophi in competing? She’s hoping to enter a competition in Eau Claire coming up in March. Her win in Iowa has also qualified her to go to Nationals in 2024.

In the end, much of Sophi’s love of skating really boils down to how skating makes her feel. “Skating helps me open my mind and takes away negative thoughts. It helps me focus on what’s really important.”

IMG_3624 – Home & Community Options