Sarah Yang wins 2018 U.S Synchronized Skating Championship title

Sarah Yang and her team, the Skyliners, pose for a picture at the 2018 U.S Synchronized Skating Championship.

When thinking of a North Penn student’s typical weekend agenda, traveling to New York and Connecticut are not the first things that come to mind.

But for junior Sarah Yang, it is.

Yang is a skater for the Skyliners Synchronized Skating team that represents the Skating Club of New York.

“I skate for a team that’s based in New York, so I drive up every weekend to practice. New York on Saturdays and Connecticut on Sundays,” explained Yang.

During these practices, Yang trains with her team. A typical practice for Yang involves coaching both on and off the ice.

“In the mornings we have one hour of off-ice, where we basically just practice the program. We use that time to focus on expression and arms. Then we have two and a half hours on ice where our coach drills all of the elements separately and does run throughs,” said Yang, “For synchronized skating, there are sixteen skaters on the ice, and we perform a bunch of elements. We are graded on the execution and technicality of the elements.”

But before one can hit the ice and perform elements with a team, there is a lot of work that needs to be put in.

Since I was five years old I’ve been constantly testing in the skating disciplines so that I can push myself to get onto higher level teams

— Sarah Yang

“Before you start synchronized skating, you have to have a base of skills. Since I was five years old I’ve been constantly testing in the skating disciplines so that I can push myself to get onto higher level teams,” reflected Yang.

It was an interest in her sister’s skating that first introduced Yang to life on the ice.

“My sister started skating when I was little, so I would go to the rink with her. I thought it was interesting so I figured I should join, and I got really into it. As it got more competitive I started switching around to different teams to find a good challenge for me,” said Yang who joined the Skyliners last year.

The Skyliners compete in various competitions throughout the year, and ultimately in the U.S Synchronized Skating Championships. Going into this year’s Championships, Yang and her team carried some extra pressure.

Submitted Photo
Sarah Yang (right) and a teammate pose together on the ice during the Synchronized Skating Championships.

“There was a lot of pressure this year since my team wanted to defend last year’s title,” noted Yang.

And defend the title they did. Yang and the Skynliners earned a gold medal in Portland, Oregon. For Yang, a gold medal is a testament to her hard work and ability to balance skating and school.

“It’s a lot of dedication. All my time goes to skating, I don’t do too many after school activities,” she noted.

However, it’s a love for skating and being on the ice that keeps Yang going.

“It’s a little scary at first because you are so close to other kids and you think about clinking blades or falling, but it is really fun. When you are gliding on the ice and the air is blowing through your face, it is really refreshing and calming. Sometimes I skate when I’m stressed because it calms me,” she said.