WEST HARTFORD — The U.S. Figure Skating Association recognized Amelia Boardman ’20 of Simsbury for her academic accomplishments in addition to skating, according to an email from Kingswood Oxford School. Boardman received a pair of skates for Christmas when she was six, and she hasn’t left the ice since.
“My parents put me in “learn to skate” over the winter as something fun to do. But I loved it. I loved learning all the new moves, and I loved learning from the coaches and kept progressing through the levels in the skate programs,” she said.
As Boardman perfected her technique, she eventually had her own personal coach. Although the moves became more difficult, that didn’t dissuade her from her passion for the sport. In fact, it drove her harder. “The harder it got ,the more I loved it. It’s the best feeling when you’ve been working hard on something and it just clicks. New jumps or elements can take months and months of training to get it right. When it all comes together, it’s a great feeling,” she said.
Boardman is a member of Bolton figure skating club and competes in women’s singles and a theater on ice team of 12 skaters. She compared the group skating as “syncro Disney on ice.” She uses local rinks in the area in Simsbury or West Hartford for practice time in addition to the rink in Bolton. During the fall season, Boardman plays varsity field hockey so her time on the ice is limited. However, in the winter she practices skating three to four times a week on the ice for an hour and then works off the ice stretching and training motions for another hour.
For her performances, Boardman gravitates toward more classically styled music because it complements her skating style which she described as more graceful rather than athletic. “Classical music helps me with my flow and long lines,” she noted.
Over the years, Boardman continued to challenge herself and noted that a double jump with two rotations as her most difficult move. She is continually awed at the level of athleticism and difficulty mastered by the Olympic skaters. “Within the last five years, the sport progressed a ton. Every time there is a new jump a physicist will say ‘That it’s impossible to go past that distance for these eight reasons.’ And then they do it! Specifically, what comes to mind since Sochi Olympics, there are a couple of men with quadruple jumps but it was by no means the standard. Now it’s even a standard for women,” she marveled.