Olivia Jaschke is a 15 year old, junior level skater based in Houston Texas. She skates at the Memorial Figure Skating Club of Houston with Coach Shanyn.
**The following interview has been edited lightly for clarity.
What do you like about skating?
It allows to express yourself on the ice. I love that you can interpret the music of a program through the way you move instead of using words to try to explain how you feel.
What is the most challenging aspect of skating?
Not giving up. It’s very easy when things get hard to quit. For example, my double axel took me a long time to land. Mentally it’s hard to push yourself along when you’re just not getting it. But keep at it and eventually you’ll do it.
Why do you like competing?
I like competing because I’m a competitive person. *Laughs* It’s true.
What do you do to prepare for competition?
I amp up my physical therapy and rehab exercises because I know that stress is a trigger for my back and knee pain. So, I try to cut that off right away. I try to do everything I can do avoid getting injured again. It’s not fun. I collaborate with my coach about my program music – we come to a decision together – and then I just work my butt off on the ice.
How often are you on the ice?
Six days a week for usually 3-4 hours at a time. Of course, I work with Coach Shannon during that time. It’s not all practice.
What do you do off ice?
I do a lot of cardio training, high intensity interval training (HIIT), yoga, and then I have a personal trainer in the gym twice a week, stretch classes at the rink and a jump coach.
Wow, you do a lot.
Yes. And I teach Learn to Skate a couple times a week too. But I’m the kind of person who needs to move so I don’t mind my training schedule.
What are your goals in skating?
I’d like to compete in Nationals at the highest level I possibly can before I graduate high school – Novice, Junior, Senior one of those at least.
You’re not planning on competing after high school?
Right now, the plan is to have the college experience. I’ll still coach and continue to skate, obviously, but I want to study to be a vet and I think it would be hard to continue to be a competitive figure and get grades good enough to go to veterinary school.
Any advice for other skaters?
Natural talent only gets you so far. You have to be willing to put the work in. If you work your butt off, it’ll pay off. If you coast on your natural ability, you’ll only go so far.
Where can we expect to see you next?
I’m competing in April at Skate Dallas.
Awesome, thanks Olivia!
*Laughs* You’re welcome.
**The initial post incorrectly spelled Olivia’s coach’s name incorrectly.