April 2008

April 2008

Kids' Questions with Katrina Hacker

Katrina Hacker (Skating Club of Boston) enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2007-08, which included sixth-place finishes at the U.S. Championships and Four Continents Championships. She graduates from high school this spring and is awaiting word from dozens of top colleges around the country before making her choice.

I know you probably will get a lot of skating questions, so I wanted to ask you something different. I love the show "America's Next Top Model." What do you think about Tyra Banks and her show?
Marlena Wom, 14
Culver City, Calif.

Katrina: I don't have very much time to watch TV so I do not watch “America's Next Top Model.” It is very popular and seems entertaining though. You should have asked Stephen Carriere this question because he is an “America's Next Top Model” expert.

Katrina Hacker

I saw you skate at Four Continents and you were amazing. How did it feel for it to be your last competition of the season and skate it so beautifully?
Nathaly Bernard, 17
Stroudsburg, Pa.

Katrina: Skating a clean long program at Four Continents was wonderful. To have my best skate at the last competition of the season was very cool. I did my first competition of the season with this program in May 2007 so it was a long season, but definitely worth it.

What is your average day like?
Connie Ly, 14

Katrina: I usually wake up around 7:30 a.m. and do some homework before leaving for skating. I warm up at the rink and then start skating at 10:10 a.m. I usually skate only two sessions, which may seem like a shock to many people, but I had a hip injury last summer because I was overdoing it. During the competition season, I would do another program on the third session and then get off the ice. Now that my hip is feeling better, I do three sessions, but I don't jump on the third one. After skating, I work out for an hour. Twice a week I go to my calculus teacher in the afternoon, and once a week, I go to physical therapy (my physical therapist is Peter Breen, who went to the 1992 Olympics in ice dancing) On Thursday evenings, I take one class, “The History and Ethics of Biotechnology,” at the Harvard Extension School, to supplement my classes from school. Because I've been training in Boston, and my school is in New York, I have been following along on my own and communicating with my teachers over the phone and via e-mail.

My dad uses the term “skater food” a lot. I was wondering what you consider to be “skater food” and what is your opinion on it? Should skaters be devoted to a diet as such?
Laura Hyde, 13
Granada Hills

Katrina: I am not totally sure what your dad means by “skater food,” because I do not think that skaters should be limited to only a certain type of food. Skaters need to eat proper diets, and everyone has his or her own version of that. Personally, I've been a vegetarian since I was 2, but not for skating reasons – I just don't like meat. As a result, I have to make sure that I consume enough protein from non-meat sources. If you have any specific concerns, a nutritionist can be helpful.

I was so impressed with your strength and flexibility at the U.S. Championships. What's your secret?
Daphne Morgan, 12
Troy, Mich.

Katrina: I don't really have a secret but hopefully this answers your question: I work out at the Skating Club of Boston with our trainer, Mike Cook, every day after skating. I do ballet and Pilates when I have the chance. I am naturally very flexible, but I still stretch a lot. I work hard to keep my flexibility and strength equal.

What are some good off-ice techniques? I need to do more off-ice training to land my double Axel and some triples.
Maki Watanabe, 12
Irvington, N.Y.

Katrina: Off-ice training is important to build the strength you need to master your jumps. A trainer can give you specific exercises to do to fit your needs. Pilates can also be helpful for strengthening your core. I also work on my jumps off ice as part of my warm-up before I skate. I do rotations, Axels, loops, flips and Lutzes, both singles, doubles, and I try triples.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? If there is any?
Victoria LoRusso, 10
Lexington, Mass.

Katrina: I really enjoy the little spare time I have. I like to spend time with my family. It is really nice because both of my older brothers go to school in Boston so I can see them often. I also like to take dance classes, read (right now, my favorite book is The Mill on the Floss, by George Eliot), go shopping and swimming.

Which college would you like to attend? What would you like to study?
Katie Reid, 16

Katrina: I find out all of my college acceptances on March 31. I would like to go to medical school after college, but I love history as well, so maybe I would like to study the History of Medicine. Once I get to college, I might change my mind about what I want to study, but I am sure I want to become a doctor.

How did you get started in figure skating?
Breanna Martin, 14
Sacramento, Calif.

Katrina: The first time I skated was when I was 3 on a frozen pond at my aunt's house in Vermont. I started skating about once a week when I was 5 because my brother Matthew (2 ½ years older) was taking hockey lessons, and I went to the rink with him. I did not start lessons until I was 7 or 8. At first, I really hated to skate but I gradually began to love it.

What were your impressions of Korea?
Julie Martinez, 17
Billings, Mont.

Katrina: Going to Korea was a wonderful experience. The fans were amazing. Even as an “unknown,” the fans brought me gifts and asked for autographs and pictures. I was so honored that they appreciated my skating.