Twirling towards success

Amy Miyahara, Editor-in-chief

While most people struggle not to fall while ice skating, Diamond Bar High School senior Brianna Kwan has perfected her skills in the sport of figure skating. She was recently awarded the Graduating Seniors Award with Gold Distinction from the U.S. Figure Skating Program.

Kwan started skating when she was five or six years old, when her mom first brought her to an ice skating rink.

Kwan started her training at the Norwalk Ice Arena but switched to KHS Ice Arena, where she started working with coach and 1976 Olympic silver medalist Dianne de Leeuw. Later, they moved to The Rinks Westminster ICE.

“A lot of the challenging things about skating is that it takes a lot of time out of your schedule because practices are one to two hours, or like two to three hours if you’re competing, and you have to like go to practice every single day to get better,” Kwan said.

Kwan used to skate competitively but stopped during her freshman year because of her busy schedule. While she skated six to seven days a week when she was competing, when preparing for testing, she practiced three to four days per week.

She earned the award by having  passed both the Moves in the Field tests and Freestyle tests up to the Senior Level, with shows she had accomplished various elements in her skating program.

Kwan said that one of her favorite parts about figure skating is creating friendships with other skaters. In particular, she recalled her experience at regionals, one of the competitions that she competed in.

“Competing was really fun because you’d meet other people from different rinks,” she said. “[At regionals,] people from different skating clubs or different states would come in and compete with everyone else… you’d meet a lot of people there and see how good they were, and how they like compare to you, and it was really fun.”

Kwan plans on attending the University of San Francisco in the fall and is considering coaching group lessons at the rinks in the area.