By Ezra Black
Emma Nieuwesteeg is about as cool as the ice she skates on.
Performing for the Canmore Skating Club, the 15-year-old Fernie resident scored an 11th place finish at Skate Canada’s Alberta-NWT/Nunavut Sectionals that took place Nov. 3 to 6 in Edmonton.
The Free Press caught up with the young lady to discuss the finer points of falling, keeping calm under pressure and the importance of skating to the tune of your own song.
Q: So how do you prepare for a performance?
A: A couple of years ago my German teacher taught me to breathe before going out on the ice. Before that I used to get really nervous. I would shake and that doesn’t help. In my level they divide us into mini-groups to have a six-minute warm up. Each mini-group is called a flight and during that warm up is when I relax and get myself together. It calms me down.
Q: What is the most difficult jump that you can pull off?
A: In my program I have the double axel but right now I’ve been trying the triple Salchow. I can land it but I would get deductions. For me to get full points on the jump I have to rotate all the way. Otherwise I get a deduction. In my mind it needs to be clean.
Q: What music have you chosen to accompany your program?
A: Mission Cleopatra by Snoop Dogg and Jamel Debbouze. I also skate to a Beatles mix of Come Together, Black Bird and Here Comes the Sun.
Q: What are your goals for the future?
A: For the short term I’d like to get the triple Salchow clean in the next couple of months and work on other triples like the triple loop, and the triple toe. And next year I’d like to make top four at sectionals.
Q: Why do you figure skate?
A: I enjoy it. Today I was skating and I did a nice spin and it was centred. And I felt, like, a nice carving in the ice.
Q: Is falling on the ice as painful as it looks?
A: It hurts sometimes but I wear bubble wrap under my outfit.