Banff figure skater accepts position on national team
Thursday, Apr 20, 2017 06:00 am
Martha Pietrasik bawled at a Tim Horton’s in Burlington, Ontario, for 30 minutes after receiving a call with news about her future.
The 17-year-old figure skater never thought this moment would unfold when she skated out there on centre ice during her try out in front of the coaches at Les Suprêmes, a national synchronizing team, in Montreal.
When her mobile rang and she answered, Pietrasik got word she had indeed made the exclusive team.
Then it hit her and a stream of emotions overwhelmed the born and bred Banffite.
“I just started bawling my eyes out and they needed to know right away (whether I was joining),” she said.
She had to quickly decide whether she was going to accept the offer to join and move to Montreal to start her new journey in her budding life.
So Pietrasik, accompanied by her father, pulled into the restaurant and there she made a decision about her next step.
“I said that I do want to skate for them,” said Pietrasik.
She will have an entire summer of practicing and learning choreography with the team, before they take the to international stage in September 2017.
The succes was almost for not, though, as she had also thought about hanging up her skates after high school ended.
“I was thinking about university and realized I don’t want to just give up on skating, so I went back to the tryouts,” she said.
She credits her club, and coach Sonya Chrastina, for helping her through.
“I figured why would I skate for 12 years and then just stop.”
Pietrasik recalls being lined up, shoulder-to-shoulder with about 80 other skaters during the daunting tryouts in March. She only had a numbered pinny to distinguish her from the others.
She had butterflies when it was her turn to be under the spotlight.
“I was really nervous, I was like, ‘there is no way I’m making the team, it’s not going to happen,’ but I didn’t want to just give up,” she said.
She had to learn four exercises to music for the judging, but there was a bit of a problem. She only learned three of the exercises.
“There was one I didn’t even know the steps, but I just went with it and did my best,” she said.
The Banff Skating Club product earned her position with the elite group of skaters as only one of five chosen this year.
But, first things first for the Grade 12 student, she needs to graduate from Banff Community High School then she’ll be off to Montreal.
“Training starts on May 1, so I need to graduate first. I’ll be going out every couple of weekends to the practices,” she said.