Stephanie Roth Talks About Her Experience at the 2007 World University Games

by Stephanie Roth

Note: Stephanie Roth was the U.S. ladies participant at the 2007 Winter World University Games. A student at Brookdale Community College, she qualified for the event by winning the senior ladies title at the 2006 U.S. Collegiate Championships. These are some of her memories from her trip to Torino, Italy. For results of the event, and more photos, click here.

Stephanie Roth and coach Steven Rice on the walkway back to the Olympic Village.
(2/5/07) - I'm so happy that I got to take part in such an amazing event. It was definitely a wonderful experience.

I've always hoped that I'd be able to get the chance to compete at an international, and now I've finally had that experience. It was so different for me because I've never competed on that level and was a little worried I'd let my nerves get to me, but I honestly I had the most fun I've ever had at a competition.

The support from all of Team USA felt awesome. I roomed with the curling team who were an awesome group of girls. I also meet a ton of other U.S. athletes who, like me, are balancing sport and a college education.

I'm still a little bummed about missing the opening triple toe in my short because I really never miss that jump. What I was so proud of though was the fact that I recovered like it was nothing and went on to achieve level 3s and 4s in the rest of the program, as well as landing the other two jumps. I was really happy getting a level 3 on my footwork because I put that step together myself!

I skated so early in the event I didn't know how it would hold against the rest of the field, especially with girls who had more international and even Olympic experience. I was relieved to find that I placed in the top 10 and would skate in the second to last warm-up; that was a feat I never managed at the U.S Championships, so Steven (Rice, Roth's coach) and I were really pleased with that.

I drew first to skate out of the group which is fine because that's more like I practice at home - warm-up, then program, no thinking - but something took over on the warm-up. I was so not in control of my body, and I was making mistakes on everything. I was in such a rush to get everything done, but that always backfires. Somehow I managed to get all the jumps done at the one-minute remaining mark, and I said to Steven, “I don't think I'm really capable of making any more mistakes.”

With that I took the ice, and all of a sudden I totally chilled out. I just felt like, “Well, this is it, have fun.” And I really did - only making one jump error. I earned my second-highest score but also my highest technical score. I moved up a spot in the long and just missed placing ninth overall by less than a point. I knew that had I done my second triple Salchow, I would have placed ninth, but I couldn't help but be thrilled with my program. As far as the “whole package” goes, I feel it's the best program I've skated in seven years. I just truly enjoyed every moment and didn't hold back.

I will always look back at this event as a highlight in my career and an event that made me feel like I can step up to the plate and hold my own at an international event.