With aspirations of competing at Nationals at the Senior level – the highest level of testing in figure skating, Galileo sophomore Erika Louie has dedicated a countless number of hours practicing, traveling, and competing in order to chase her dream.
Starting skating when she was just five years old, her parents enrolled her in an ice skating program along with friends. She quickly grew to love the sport, and knew that she wanted to continue to ice skate. She started participating in figure skating competitions, and within a few years was traveling the world competing, from the East Coast to across the world in Hong Kong. Erika says, “I love traveling for skating! In fact, that’s one of my favorite aspects of figure skating as I get to explore different regions and get an idea of my competition outside of my hometown. Many times the memories I get from traveling stick with me for life.”
In order to achieve her goal of competing at Nationals, Erika ice skates six days a week, Monday through Saturday, after school and before school. Though this doesn’t leave her with much time for schoolwork or other hobbies, she’s determined to balance her grades and competitive skating. “I try to do as much work as I can during school and on Sundays, so that I have more time to practice,” she says.
Erika’s inspiration to become one of the top figure skaters comes from her coach, Cynthia Van Vulkenburg, as well as famous competitive figure skaters, such as Michelle Kwan, Yuna Kim, and Nathan Chen. Erika is committed to following in their footsteps.
Erika has a tremendous amount to be proud of including, placing first in every competition she’s participated this season. As she reflects back on how far she’s come, a few things stand out about her experiences. She says, “My biggest senses of accomplishment are being able to excel a good amount of levels in a short amount of time and winning my first Regional competition.”