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Cobbers dedicated to skating

The ability to gracefully glide across ice takes the utmost dedication and perseverance.

The art of figure skating is one in which errors may be made, but through these errors participants will enhance their skills.

When sophomore Morgan Schleif was informed that she could not participate in gymnastics anymore because of a previous injury, she decided to take her talent to the ice.

“I was six-years-old when I first started competing,” Schleif said. “Some people skate every day, but I would typically skate about three times a week.”

Like any child, senior Molly Heugen tried a variety of sports throughout her childhood. However, when none of them interested her, she decided to try out figure skating.

“My parents got me into it,” Heugen said. “I tried it, and liked it so I stuck with it.”

Junior Kjersten Bratvold has been skating for the past 17 years. Throughout her skating career Bratvold has competed in many competitions.

“I usually did about four or five competitions each year,” Bratvold said. “I started doing synchronized skating, which is kind of like synchronized swimming when I was in fourth grade. ”

Despite the amount of practice skaters do, injuries may come along.

“I broke my ankle in high school, so I am scared of hurting myself again,” Bratvold said. “I picked (skating) up again, but I was fearful of going back after physical therapy.”

Like any sport, figure skating requires skill. Schleif says once you master something without error, it reminds you why you have spent so much time practicing.

“There is no feeling like it,” Schleif said. “Once you can utilize (your skills) you get a sense of self-fulfillment.”

Although Schleif encourages everyone to try figure skating, she wants people to know that being involved in figure skating is costly.

“My mom paid 100 dollars each month for lessons,” Schleif said. “I own a pair of skates now that cost $1,000.”

Since Concordia does not having a figure skating team, Bratvold is holding on to her skills by teaching the Fargo/Moorhead youth the art.

“I coach three nights a week at Fargo Parks,” Bratvold said. “I teach two to 14-year-olds a variety of techniques including freestyle.”

Although Bratvold intends to sign her children up for skating, she will let them decide if they want to continue with the sport.

“I will not push them to be competitive if they don’t feel like it, (and) that’s okay.” Bratvold said. “I will go skating with them at the ponds.”

All of these women have put a lot of time and dedication into the sport of figure skating, but they say it is worth it.

“If you put your heart into it, you will find that connection,” Schleif said.

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