“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.

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No, UCF, You Are Not 'National Champions,'

An undefeated season, Peach Bowl champions and a self-proclaimed title, they believe they are the kings of college football.

The college football world crowned a new National Champion Jan. 8th in Atlanta, Georgia. The Alabama Crimson Tide were the kings of Division I again after beating the Georgia Bulldogs 26-23 in an overtime thriller, capturing their 17th title in school history.

However, despite not being in the playoffs, one team has declared themselves the 2017 National Champions.

The University of Central Florida finished the season 13-0, the only undefeated team in the country. Despite being unbeaten, the Knights missed out on the playoffs and instead got a bid to play in the Peach Bowl. Their opponent, the Auburn Tigers.

Auburn was the only team to beat both Alabama and Georgia throughout the year. The only team to ever beat two #1 teams in a span of three weeks in the playoff era. Opening up, the Tigers were a 13-point favorite over UCF. That was until kickoff. The Knights started slow, then turned up the heat and showed the nation why they were undefeated. UCF beat Auburn 34-27 and that’s when the claims of a National Championship started.

To UCF, they beat Auburn. The team that beat the two teams who played in the National Championship, therefore they are the kings. Hold up, not so fast.

Congratulations to The University of Central Florida on an incredible season. Arguably the best turn around in college sports, from 0-12 two years ago to 13-0 and Peach Bowl champions. That is not an easy task.

But to claim a National Championship? That is a bit extreme.

The school went as far as announcing they were going to hang a banner in the stadium and Disney hosted a parade for the team. On the night of the National Championship, the school hosted a block party in celebration.

As people flooded the streets of Disney, chants being screamed “We Want Bama” and “UCF UCF UCF,” the National Championship game kicked off.

In the early 2000s when Boise State and TCU began to get a nationwide audience, there were no talks of claiming championships, the Broncos, and the Horned Frogs kept playing and kept beating the big boys of college football earning respect with their programs. UCF should do the same, just keep playing ball. It has only been one year.

Being a smaller school, a Peach Bowl victory is huge for the football program. Nationwide attention, big bonus checks, and hardware for the trophy case. It is all positive for the UCF program. Claiming a National Title only diminishes the program's reputation that’s finally on the rise.

With head coach Scott Frost leaving to Nebraska and taking almost all of his assistants, UCF has more things to worry about then claiming something that’s not theirs. The Knights have to find a way to continue to win.

If Alabama and UCF squared up, the Crimson Tide would be a 21-point favorite.

Stop the claims, you’re not the champs. It's not the early 1900s anymore.

Cover Image Credit: UCF Knights / Instagram

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7 Things You Dread Hearing Your Rowing Coach Say

Coaches are the best and the worst at the same time

You may love your coach. You may absolutely hate your coach. But either way, there are definitely at least a few things that you hate hearing them say to you. They could be the type of thing that's more of an annoying inconvenience than anything else. Or they could make your heart start beating faster out of anxiety. Or they could ruin your entire week because you can't stop thinking about them. I happen to love my coaches, but there are most definitely some things that I would rather not hear them say. Here are a few examples I have heard:

1. "Surprise 2k/5k today"

As someone who definitely needs to mentally prepare for these at least the day before, a surprise 2k/5k is not appreciated. I also need to make sure that I'm actually staying hydrated so I don't pass out afterward.

2. "We are rowing on the square"

Halfway through your first novice season, you think that you're done with rowing on the square. No longer will you struggle to get your blade out of the water. Jokes on you because two years into your rowing career your coach decides to put your boat back on the square in an attempt to help the set.

3. "It's too windy to go out today"

This always means one of two things. One, you're going on the longest run ever because you need to fill the time. Two, you will be doing some sort of circuit for the duration of practice. I have had both happen before. As much as I hate running, doing circuits for nearly two hours is far worse.

4. "When can you come talk to me?"

If you are expecting this text then it's not that bad. If you get it randomly in the middle of class that's another story. This is especially nervewracking when they don't give you any clue as to why they need you to come in.

5. "I'll tell you the workout after the warmup"

If your coach won't tell you the workout beforehand it's usually because it's not going to be fun. In my personal experience with this statement, the workout was always a surprise 5k.

6. "We're out of snacks"

I know this sounds really petty. This is also a student-athlete problem too. We always keep a cooler of fruit and various kinds of bars and fruit snacks to have after practice in our erg room. Last semester I went straight to class from practice and didn't have a break to eat until noon. I, along with at least a few other people, almost depended on those snacks to hold me over until then. So it was very unfortunate when we were all out.

7. "Today's workout is H.O.P."

If you do not know, H.O.P. stands for Hour of Power. This workout is a strong rival with the 5k as far as difficult workouts go. It's a partner workout. One partner runs a certain distance while the second partner ergs. Once the runner gets back they switch. This goes back and forth until the hour is up. You're constantly moving and constantly out of breath.

Cover Image Credit: Mine

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