Going for Gold

Kids often try numerous activities before they find one that sticks. But when 11-year-old Faith Crooks stepped onto an ice-skating rink for the first time four years ago, she was immediately hooked. It was no surprise to her father, Chris, who grew up playing and later coaching hockey, but what started as an after-school activity has turned into a joy and passion for the whole family.

Edge: What made you decide to try ice skating?

Faith: We watched the Olympics, and I saw an athlete do a hard move, and I wanted to try it.

Edge: What do you remember about your first time on the ice?

Faith: It was slippery! I held onto the boards, nervous and excited. The first time I pushed off I fell. But I watched the older girls and wanted to keep going.

Edge: How long did it take you to start competing?

Dawn (Faith’s mom): She started competing three years ago. Normally she does six competitions a year, but this past year because of the pandemic she only did four. Since she switched to Moylan Premier Skating Club, she’s made huge strides.

Faith: The head coach takes you to regionals if you reach a certain level. It’s hard work to get to the point where he tells you you’re ready. I wanted to work hard to be able to be there. This year I got to be in the send off room, and I was so happy!

Edge: What do you like best about skating?

Faith: I really like gliding on the ice, and I like jumping because it feels like flying. I also like wearing the dresses and all the sparkle and bling!

Edge: What’s a skill you recently accomplished?

Faith: A double flip. I was under rotating it at the beginning, and I finally did it, which made me feel like I really accomplished it.

Chris: She also got the axel, which is a big marker in skating.

Edge: How often do you practice?

Faith: Six days a week, sometimes morning and night. I have to get up at 5am. Sometimes my mom has to wake me up after my alarm.

Edge: What did you do to train during the pandemic?

Faith: We built a space where I could train at home and made a spinner to train on. I’d also do Zoom workouts like ballet, yoga, and Pilates. And my coach would come to my house and take me through a jumps class. It was fun.

Edge: What are you training for next?

Faith: I want to get to juvenile. It’s a higher level and I’m almost at pre-juvenile. I have to do three double jumps and an axel in my routine. I’ve got my axel and I’m working on getting those doubles now. My long-term goal is to get my senior moves and gold medalist jacket.

Chris: When she achieves her free skate and field moves, then she’s allowed to get a jacket from U.S. Figure Skating for a gold medalist level of achievement, which she needs if she ever wants to coach.

Edge: Do you want to coach at some point?

Faith: I think it’d be fun to coach the little ones. I like the smile on their faces when they do something.

Edge: What do you enjoy about competitions?

Faith: That my friends and I all support each other and stay to watch even after we’re done competing.

Dawn: Ice skating is a solo sport, but being in a club has allowed her to make friends, and she has a lot of fun with the girls.

Chris: She works really hard, and we’re most proud of the fact she has never quit. Even when she’s physically wiped out, she’s never quit on a lesson.

Edge: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not on the ice?

Faith: I like to read and write fairytales. And I like to travel a lot—sleeping, eating, and swimming in the hotel pools!

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