“Figure Skating Isn’t A Sport”

“Figure Skating Isn’t A Sport”

Something I hear way too often

I have been skating for twelve years now. I started taking classes twelve years ago and fell in love. I started competing as a soloist and one day at a competition, they had a synchronized skating event. That was the first time I ever saw synchronized skating and I remember it perfectly. So, I competed as a soloist for a long time and eventually became apart of a synchronized skating team. Soon after, I decided to commit all of my time on the ice to synchro.

Every time someone asks if I play a sport, I reply "Well, I skate". And usually I will get one of two responses: "Whoa, that's so cool" followed with many questions or "Ha, that's not a sport!". Most of the time it's the first one, but sometimes a peer would tease me because they thought the idea of figure skating was too funny. Whether it was figure skating, synchronized skating, ice dancing, etc. they didn't think any type of ice skating qualified as a sport.

When peers of mine made fun of skating, I remember trying to convince them that it was difficult. I would describe jumping into the air off of a little toe pick, spinning in the air, and landing on one tiny piece of the toe pick before the rest of the sharp, thin blade touches the ice. I would describe intersections: being connected to others in two long, straight lines and coming towards each other on a diagonal before turning and passing through each other all at the same time. I would tell them that skaters need speed and endurance and strength and grace and much more. Skating is as hard as any other sport.

I love skating as a sport or not. It would be a dream come true to have everyone believe in the importance of figure skating. It would be a dream come true to have synchronized skating be included in the Olympics. It would be a dream come true to not fear the reaction I'm going to receive when I tell someone I am a skater. But I know the importance and the beauty of my sport. I know the love I have for skating and I do not care if a peer laughs at me, or if someone disagrees.

Skating has made me an athlete, a competitor, strong, graceful (sometimes), a performer, a teammate, and so much more. It has taught me life lessons and given me some of the greatest friendships and greatest moments of my life. Skating has been important to me for twelve years and it will still be important to me whether it is classified as a sport or not. It will still be important to me whether it is in the Olympics or not. It will always be important to me.

Cover Image Credit: https://myroutinemaintenance.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/the-universe-told-me-to-skate/

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Playoff Rondo Is A Different Breed

When he’s feeling it, Rajon Rondo is one of the most fun players to watch in the NBA. Right now, he's feeling it.

Rajon Rondo lives for the postseason.

In the 2017 NBA Playoffs, he led the Chicago Bulls to two straight victories over the Celtics. In one of them, he was a rebound shy of a triple double and had 5 steals. Then he broke his thumb and was forced to miss the rest of the series. Chicago proceeded to lose four straight and were effectively eliminated from playoff contention.

Now, for the second straight year, Rondo is showing that he’s still got it in his early 30s. To be honest, I doubted Rondo would ever be an impact player again when he struggled in Dallas and Sacramento. It seemed his attitude was going to derail his career, and he would fail to live up to his potential.

However, he has been great for New Orleans this year, and he's playing even better this postseason. In Game 1 against Portland he had 17 assists and nearly had a triple-double in Game 2 (9 assists). He has led New Orleans in performances in which they have shown good ball movement, and on more than one occasion I’ve heard people watching say, “How did Rondo fit that ball in there?”. Playing with great scorers in Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis, he seems more than comfortable in his role as a facilitator.

In addition to passing the ball extremely well, Rondo has been hustling to collect rebounds and has scored when the Pelicans have needed him to, ie. at the end of Game 2 when he hit a 3-point dagger with 38 seconds left to seal it.

The last couple of years Rondo has been stellar in the postseason, and he hasn’t lost a playoff game since 2015. His improved performance on the big stage is nothing new for him, though.

Over the course of his career, he’s averaged 3.8 more points, 1.2 more rebounds, and 0.7 more assists per game. These may not seem like significant jumps, but when you consider how many playoff games he’s competed in dating back to his days with the Paul Pierce-Ray Allen-Kevin Garnett Celtics, it becomes a bit more impressive.

When he’s feeling it, Rajon Rondo is one of the most fun players to watch in the NBA. Right now he is feeling it. The boys down in NOLA are thriving because of it--also because of Jrue Holiday’s brilliant scoring performances and Anthony Davis’s perpetual brilliance in all areas of the game.

The series with Portland has been gritty, and the Pelicans have been forced to show that they have what it takes to close games. They’ve done that, and they did it in Portland. Now they head back to the Smoothie King Center with a chance to sweep at home. With as much confidence as they’re playing with right now, that very well might happen.

Cover Image Credit: New Orleans Pelicans YouTube

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Hurricanes Lose Walker, Brown Jr., And Huell To NBA Draft

Despite losing three of their highest scorers, the Hurricanes look to make the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive year in 2019.

With Lonnie Walker (Freshman Guard), Bruce Brown Jr. (Sophomore Guard), and Dewan Huell announcing that they are leaving for the NBA draft, Jim Larranaga looks to move forward. Huell is the only one of the three that chose not to sign an agent. The significance of this is that he still has the option to return to college. Walker and Brown Jr., however, do not have this option.

Lonnie Walker had a solid year for the Miami Hurricanes. The five star recruit averaged 11.5 points and helped lead the Hurricanes to a berth in the NCAA tournament. One of his best games came at home against Boston College when he hit the game winning three. His most high scoring games were versus Boston University (26 points), versus Louisville (25 points), and @ Florida State (23 points).

Bruce Brown Jr. had a year that was shortened by injury. However, he still had a solid year. The Sophomore Guard averaged 11.4 points. His best games came versus Middle Tennessee State (20 points) and versus Florida State (23 points). Hurricanes fans were sad to see the star guard’s season end prematurely, but wish him the best in the NBA.

Dewan Huell, the third Hurricane to declare for the draft, had a breakout Sophomore season. He averaged 11.4 points. His best games were @ Minnesota (23 points), versus Middle Tennessee (21 points), and versus Florida State (20 points).

While Lonnie Walker is projected to get drafted in the first round lottery, Bruce Brown and Dewan Huell are projected to go late first or early second round.

Hopefully, the Hurricanes can rally next year and reach the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive year.

As for Lonnie Walker, Bruce Brown Jr., and Dewan Huell, best of luck in the NBA!

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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