Junior Sarah Solomon finishes first in the country in novice pairs figure skating contest
Junior Sarah Solomon will probably always remember the sense of triumph that surged through her body as judges at the 2002 U.S. Figure Skating Championship, held in Los Angeles in January, announced that she and her partner placed first in their competition, naming them the best novice ice dancers in the country. "We were ecstatic after winning that title!" she reminisces excitedly. "It was a huge milestone in our skating career."
Scott Myers, Solomon's coach of nearly five years, attributes Solomon's recent successes to her ability to focus on her goals, and he predicts a flourishing future for Solomon and her partner, Benjamin Cohen, a sophomore at T.C. Williams High School in Virginia. "In just a few short years Sarah and Ben went from regional skaters to national competitors. And who knows?" he muses, "You just might see them in the Olympics someday. They are limitless."
Dreaming a reality
At the exhibition performance following the National Championship competition, Solomon was thrilled to perform with the U.S. Olympic team, including prominent skaters like Michael Weiss, Sasha Cohen and Michelle Kwan. "It was such an amazing experience to skate next to the same people that you see on TV and in the Olympics," she says. "One day I would love to achieve what those skaters have done."
Next August, Solomon and Cohen plan to compete in the North American Challenge Skate, an invitational semi-international competition, as they advance to the junior level of skating.
But while she is excited about the approaching competitions, Solomon admits that she occasionally fears performing poorly.
A balancing act
Although Solomon says she is passionate about competing, she acknowledges that skating often hinders other aspects of her life. "I miss a total of around three- weeks of school per year for skating," she says. "And with three- hour practices five days a week, I have to try very hard to keep up with school work," she notes.
Junior Naomi Graber, Solomon's best friend since third grade, claims that despite Solomon's various preoccupations, she still balances a healthy social life and has been a reliable friend. "Sarah has lots of friends at the rink and at school. I know that she's under a lot pressure, but she still finds time to provide support and a listening ear for me," she says. "Likewise, I listen to all of her stories about skating—apparently it's a very sociable sport!"
Solomon confirms that an amiable atmosphere exists on the ice. "There is a certain level of camaraderie that develops after seeing the same people every day," she says. "This is a close-knit skating community, and I have to trust Ben when he picks me up every time. In a way, he's become a brother to me."
While Solomon takes skating very seriously, Cohen says she's also inclined to have fun. "Sarah's really talkative and outgoing during practice. Off the ice she is a well-balanced person with a life and lots of friends. She's a normal teenager," he says, "and that's hard to be when you participate in such a competitive sport."
Jennie Breads. Senior Jennifer Breads is the Managing Health Editor for this year. Aside from writing lots of health stories, Jennifer enjoys playing soccer and lacrosse and she is excited to be part of the Silver Chips team! More »