Figure skating is not just for girls. Boys can do it, too! You may be surprised, but there are a lot of boy figure skaters all over the world. At South Suburban skating club in Littleton, Colorado, there are a lot of boy skaters. One of those skaters is Thomas Shwalback.
Thomas Shwappach first tried skating when he was two because of his sister who inspired him. She had beautiful moves and still skates today. Instead of starting right away, he decided to start when he was five.
Thomas started competing when he was 5 and a half, the same year he started skating with his coach Mia Hoaksema. He has been a successful skater because he is dedicated and works hard. Recently he competed at a regional competition where he was awarded fourth place in his age group.
Since Thomas got fourth, he qualified for Junior Nationals, "I'm proud of doing my best at regionals and getting rewarded for my hard work," says Thomas. The Junior Nationals, which is powered by the United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA), will be taking place in Lansing, Michigan on December 9, 2011. You can watch him at icenetwork.com about a week after the competition.
To qualify for Nationals, it takes a lot of hard work and training. You have to practice long hours on the freezing cold ice. If you want to be a pro, it takes years of experience. Thomas Schwappach skates early in the morning and late at night almost every day.
Thomas's favorite thing about skating is landing the jumps. His favorite skater is Patrick Chan who trains at the World Arena in Colorado Springs. They work hard every chance they get. Patrick and Thomas do singles, doubles, and triples.
Thomas is so excited for the competition on December 9th. Hard work, skill, and dedication often lead to success. Good Luck Thomas!