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In our interview series, we wanted to go behind the scenes and talk with some of our international competitors to get to know them a little bit better!
Today we get to know the always charming, yet hilarious Jimmy Ma! Bet you didn’t know Jimmy is a concert pianist and has performed at Carnegie Hall? But you probably do know his SP music this season was a medley of popular Eminem songs? If not, you can find that here.
Tell us a bit about yourself, where you came from, how long you’ve been skating, training grounds, etc.
I was born in Queens, NY raised in Great Neck, NY. I currently reside in Hackensack, NJ which is also where I train as well as Sky Rink at Pier 61 Chelsea Piers. I started skating at around the age of eight so I’ve skated about thirteen years.
The reason I started is actually hilarious because I actually hated it. We were celebrating my friends birthday and my face literally hit the ice. Because of this my mom decided it’d be a great idea to sign me up and the rest is history.
It’s funny and awesome to see that figure skating came full circle for you! What’s been the biggest obstacle for you this past season?
The biggest obstacle last year was attempting to improve my skating in general. Training with artistic legend Denis Ten and Canadian dance team Weaver/Poje motivated me to constantly improve every little detail in my skating. Lots of time went into basic stroking, dance classes and stretching, but in the end I felt like it was worth it!
What’s been your greatest accomplishment this past season?
By far the most satisfying accomplishment this season was earning third at the jump challenge during Broadmoor Open. The atmosphere was amazing, the crowd had amazing energy, and I was competing against teammates that I look up to, which was an experience of a lifetime.
I would say the US Championships Short Program was quite the memorable moment! So take us through a typical competition day for you?
I try to get at least 8 hours the night before so I can wake up feeling energized. Breakfast is key but I really can’t eat much because I still get super nervous! However, I still try to get some sugar and protein into me for the energy. Usually there’s only a 20 minute warm up before the event so I try to start warming up even before I arrive at the rink. After the warm up I’ll head back to the hotel to rest up a little more, maybe even a micro nap to recharge. I’ll try to arrive at the arena about one hour prior to my scheduled six minute warm up and from there I get into the zone.
What do like to do outside of skating?
My favorite thing to do when I come home from skating is to go online and yell at my friends for how poorly they play Overwatch…wait… jokes, I’m the one who stinks. I attempt to play video games from time to time!
Actually my go to is to clean and make sure my room is spotless before I do anything else. And even though I may not be as good as I used to be, I still love to play some good old Chopin. I’ll go way out of my way to find good bubble tea, I love to find new places to eat, and I love to take long drives. To be honest I’m a really boring guy.
Favorite Restaurant: Smith and Wollensky Steakhouse, Xi’an Famous Foods
Favorite Animal: Panda Panda Panda
Favorite Jump: Triple Lutz
Favorite Place You’ve Competed: Japan
Figure Skating’s Class Clown: Some kid named Jimmy Ma
What does #JacksonFamily mean to you?
The Jackson Family is much more than just a boot manufacturer to me. Yes their products are top quality made to withstand even my heftiness and yes the suede on their boots is the greatest thing in the world but it’s everything else that makes them special. It’s the heart they have they makes all their athletes feel like family. Their mantra of constantly improving to further benefit their athletes is more than anyone can ask for. The light that the Jackson techs shine on this skating world just makes us all feel warm and cozy inside. It’s those little things that make me love ya’ll so much!
Jimmy Ma’s Equipment: Elite 5000 Series Boots