Skating Through Life: Talented Ice Skater Samantha Lu Shares Her Experiences

Samantha Lu, pictured above, is a dedicated ice skater, incredibly passionate about the athletic and artistic elements of the sport.

Hibba Adeel

Samantha Lu, pictured above, is a dedicated ice skater, incredibly passionate about the athletic and artistic elements of the sport.

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There are some students who excel in arts, some who excel in the sciences, and some who excel in sports such as basketball, baseball, or tennis. Although it may not be a common sport in the Bay Area, ice skating has taken over freshman Samantha Lu’s life in the best way possible.

Starting from a young age of 5 years old, Samantha started skating in Illinois, where ice skating was popular due to the cold weather. She grew up in a town near Chicago, where she remembers putting on her first pair of skates and realizing that ice skating was her passion. “I remember putting on that pair of skates when I was younger and yearning to skate like the other girls at the ice rink,” recalls Samantha, who now has a series of achievements under her belt. “That very motivation I had from a young age motivated me to practice and get better and better,” she adds. 

In her old town of Hoffman Estates, Samantha skated until she got the basics down. Once she moved to California as a fourth-grader in 2014, Samantha decided that she would take skating seriously more competitively. “I realized that this was my passion and I wanted to continue it, even if I moved,” she says. After taking lessons at Skate St. Moritz Club in California, Samantha began taking lessons regularly and took part in competitions. She placed first in figure skating championships, and soon after learning many tricks, she also placed as the top five in skating competitions from different states in Dramatic Entertainment Standings. Although attending these competitions sometimes required her to miss a day of school and catch up on schoolwork, Samantha exclaims that “It was all worth it in the end because the feeling of getting a placing in a competition is really great.”

To Samantha, these achievements are an essential part of her growth as a skater and allow her to see what she needs to work on, as she says, “there is nothing better than mastering a skill you had trouble with and using that skill to help you place in competitions.” Her teammates were also an important part of her excelling at certain skills because although high competition between teammates at times caused a rough edge between them, Samantha says that the competition from her teammates has “helped her grow more competitive and fierce in competitions with a determination to place.” This very determination has helped her to be where she is today, especially when she regularly goes to St. Moritz to brush up on skills and practice.

When she first arrives at St. Moritz Club skating rink, Samantha puts on her skates and starts with her warmups. These warm-ups don’t only help her practice, but they help her review old skills and strengthen new ones. Some skills she practices in the warmup are stroking, edging, power pulls and backward skating. 

These skills have helped her grow stronger and although practicing can sometimes cause sore muscles, she thoroughly does her warmups and receives any constructive criticism from her coach that helps her improve for the next competition or practice. One of her most remarkable skills learned is the axel jump, which requires a forward takeoff and is considered very difficult, as the skills required are complex. 

But, although there is a lot of effort required in excelling at this sport, Samantha notes that skating makes her “a stronger person with full determination, who is always ready to give 110% effort in everything.” In a way, skating has helped her not only in the sport itself but in everyday life, whether it comes to completing a project or finishing an assignment on time. “Skating can be tiring and painful at times,” she admits, “but if you really love doing something, you only get the good out of it.” From this, it’s obvious that skating is the joy of Samantha’s life and it’s obvious that there is no Samantha Lu without ice skating, and no ice skating without Samantha Lu.