BY: Brooklee Han, OLY
When there finally was an opportunity for Katie Krafchick to compete during the 2020 season, which was nearly decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic, she made the most of it. The 12-year-old Skating Club of New York representative won the hotly contested novice ladies division at the 2021 U.S. Championship Series presented by Toyota.
Although the event was held virtually, with skaters submitting proctored videos of their free programs recorded at their home rinks, Krafchick says the event felt similar to an in-person competition. “It felt normal because I had to wear my dress, no one was on the ice and both my coaches were with me when I was performing,” she says. “I still had to prepare for this like a normal competition. I was so grateful to have the opportunity to compete, and thankful that USFS put this together.”
After submitting their videos, skaters had to wait weeks for results to come out. “It was so hard [to wait] because in a normal competition you get your results right away, and when you are waiting for over two weeks you just keep wondering what the judges thought and what the score would be,” Krafchick says. Krafchick’s victory is even more impressive, as just a year earlier she was competing at the juvenile level, finishing third at the 2020 Eastern Sectionals Singles Final and qualifying for the 2020 U.S. National Camp. She and her coaches, Gilberto Viadana and Yelena Pavlova, made the decision to move up to novice after she easily won her intermediate short program and free skate groups at the 2020 Boston Open. “My coaches and I made the decision to move to novice to challenge me,” Krafchick says. “The experience was both exciting and challenging. I was excited to learn new elements and work to perform them within my program. It was challenging because it was a whole new, more advanced level with an additional jumping pass and additional spin, plus the addition of learning new spins, and more complex footwork, compared to intermediate, which I only competed in once.”
While training and competing through the uncertainty of last season was challenging at times, Krafchick believes her love of the sport kept her going. This passion is supported by Jackson’s Matrix Nova Blade and Premiere Boots with custom modifications. Visit https://jacksonultima.com/pages/custom to learn about options available for your boots.
“My heart, my desire and pure love for the sport keep me motivated,” she says. “I love to perform and compete; it’s in my soul and what makes me happy. Also, my family’s full support of me, no matter what, helps me during both the amazing and tough times of this sport. And of course, good equipment helps me too, like my custom Jackson boots and blades!”
This coming season Krafchick hopes to master and compete all of her triple jumps. “I am looking forward to competing in-person, and gaining more in-person experience at the novice level,” Krafchick says. “I am focused on advancing my skill level across all the elements in skating, and I am really just focused on being the best that I can be.”
We wish Katie all the best this season and are so happy to have her as part of the #JacksonFamily.