Cadet Spotlight: Jessica Witt shares what it’s like to be a figure skater

Sabre Witt
Jessica Witt ’20

While St. John’s offers a wide variety of sports, from crew to lacrosse to rugby, one sport it doesn’t offer is figure skating. This sport has been rising in popularity over the years, and if you’ve ever been to an ice rink, you can surely relate to feeling really inadequate next to all those 4-year-old figure skaters. So while St. John’s doesn’t offer it as an official sport, or even a club, some people still participate heavily outside of school.

Jessica Witt ’20 is one of those people, and she skates every day of the week. She doesn’t currently participate in any other SJC sports; she said she used to play field hockey, “but it conflicted with figure skating a lot.” She also said that “most competitions are somewhere in Massachusetts, so I have to miss a lot of school, like on Fridays and Mondays and stuff.”

However, Witt said it doesn’t interfere with her school work much, that she’s managed to get everything done well, and her teachers are understanding most of the time. “I’ve gotten better at managing my homework and stuff and it’s ok now because I get help with some work if I need it,” she said. “My friends on my team have the same thing, and so we all need time to do homework and stuff like that. So everyone makes time pretty well I guess.”

When asked if she would participate in figure skating if it was at St. John’s, Witt wasn’t sure. “I don’t know. The kind I do is already kind of a lot, and it’s like a full-time commitment, so I’m not sure.” Figure skating is rigorous and requires a lot of time and practice. While there are other figure skaters attending SJC, there aren’t nearly enough to field a full team or justify the time and money it takes to coach and supply one. Especially since figure skating competitions are so complicated. “I usually have to miss at least three days of school…and I have to compete twice since there are two programs, a short and a long.” There are also costumes, skates, and ice time to account for.

It also requires sacrifices. “I sometimes I have to miss out on stuff since I have to start practice really early on the morning on Saturdays and Sundays, so I can’t go out that late.” However, as much as Witt feels like she misses out on things with school, figure skating is also a close-knit team. “I’m really close with my friends on my team, so it’s not as bad,” she said. “I hang out with them all the time at competitions and stuff.”

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