Olympic hopefuls compete at the U.S. Figure Skating Championship in Leesburg

Virginia

LEESBURG, Va. (WDVM) — The Ion International Training Center in Leesburg is one of eight locations across the country to host the U.S. Figure Skating Championship series.

The competition is a pre-qualifier to compete nationally, and for a select few, a shot at competing in the Olympics. Roughly 600 skaters are expected to compete over the next four days.

“This is one of the qualifying competitions that we have for our U.S. National Championships, we have eight of them around the country. Once all eight competitions are completed, there will be a list of skaters and their scores, and the top scores at each level will qualify for the U.S. Championships,” said Heather Nemier, eastern vice president for U.S. Figure Skating.

Being on Team U.S.A. at the Olympics is a dream years in the making — one that Cheryl Litman, president of Skating Club of Northern Virginia, says begins at a young age.

“Many of these skaters who are ages 10-20 started skating when they were 3-5 years old. They train anywhere from 4-6 days per week,” said Litman.

It’s the first time since 2019 the skaters have competed in in-person qualifiers, and the stakes are high.

“They’re rated on how difficult it is, and how well they execute it, and there’s a who set of marks for the artistic part of it,” said Nemier. “It’s a really exciting year for the kids to be competing, because of the Olympics. It adds a little extra excitement, and who knows, somebody who’s here may end up going this time, or in four years.”

The series will run from Oct. 27-30. Learn more on their website.

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