Senior awarded Gold award for figure skating

courtesy Katrina Kallas

Katrina Kallas, senior, was recently selected for the Gold award from the U.S. Figure Skating Graduating Seniors Program. This award aims to recognize accomplished athletes who have balanced both academics and skating throughout their high school careers. 

According to the U.S. Figure Skating website, “There are four level designations awarded within the program: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Individuals receive awards based on their highest skating achievement (test or competition) during high school as noted on their application.” 

For Kallas, winning the award was both surprising and rewarding. Kallas found out she won when contacted by administrators asking if she would be willing to have her information posted on social media.

“I was super surprised, but I was really happy. A lot of people that I don’t normally talk to were cheering me on,” Kallas said.

Kallas has been juggling academics and skating from a very young age. She started the sport when she was seven years old, inspired by watching her older sister skate at the Pettit National Ice Center. Soon, it became something that challenged her more.

“It pushed me harder and harder which I really liked, and it provided me with goals to work towards outside of school… I really liked having that life out of school which provided distractions for me and was sort of an escape in a way.”

Kallas decided to apply for this award because she wanted something to represent the work she had put into the sport over the last 10 years. 

“I’m not really planning on doing [figure skating] much in college, so I just wanted to end it with seeing my accomplishments on paper.”

To apply for the award, Kallas had to prepare an application for the U.S. Figure Skating Board. She summarized some of her important skating and academic accomplishments, such as her Senior Moves in the Field test, which she passed in January. This test allowed Kallas to present a culmination of all the skills she has attained.

“The senior moves [test] combines your power, your flexibility, all of your skills to really see if you could [move] past that level… it’s basically just really technical stuff.”

Kallas has been working on leveled tests for a long time. At each level, she had to compete in front of a judge and pass the specific skills required. She began with easier tasks and eventually built her skill set up to the harder levels. 

Another achievement Kallas added to her application was her work with the Fond Du Lac Blades, her synchronized skating team. Kallas and her team qualified to represent Team USA in the International Trading Pool and qualified for nationals. Working in a team environment helped keep Kallas motivated and allowed her to forge meaningful friendships with her teammates.

“[My teammates] definitely helped me a lot and kept me motivated for sure. I love the social aspect, that’s the thing I’m gonna miss the most when going to college because I had so many friends on that team.”

Along with her teammates, Kallas’s coaches helped motivate and develop her skating career. Kallas relied on assistance from coaches at the Pettit National Ice Center and from her synchronized skating coaches. 

“The field coach and figure skating coach who works with me at the Pettit, she was really the one who pushed me to pass my Senior moves in the field… I’ve worked with them since I was like 10 years old, so they’ve definitely helped me grow as a skater.”

While Kallas does not plan on skating competitively in college, she knows the life skills she has gained will help her in the future. Kallas plans to attend University of Wisconsin Madison and major in English.

Through her work in figure skating, Kallas has learned many skills that will help her in future endeavours such as how to balance a busy schedule, maintain motivation and collaborate with others. This award recognizes these skills and the work she has put into the sport.

Balancing different things, which I’ve done since I was little with skating and school, I think will definitely help me to balance things later on in life… I’m definitely glad that I did it because it made me a harder worker.”