Sibling Skaters Soar: A Journey to U.S. Championships Together
In the world of figure skating, reaching the U.S. Championships is a monumental achievement. But imagine sharing that journey not just with your teammates but with your sister. Ela and Amy, two remarkable Club members, have done just that, carving a unique path from their beginnings as beginners to earning coveted spots at the U.S. Championships. In this exclusive interview, we delve into their shared history, their reactions to the big news, and how their sibling bond has shaped them into the incredible skaters they are today.
Amy Cui and her partner Kenny Eckert
The Beginning of Their Skating Journey
Ela and Amy’s story started with a trip to watch Disney’s Frozen when they were just 4 and 6 years old. Inspired by the magic of the ice, they took their first steps onto the rink at Steel Ice Arena in Pennsylvania. What began as a fun family outing soon blossomed into a love for skating. Although Ela initially had reservations about her coach’s height and bald head, their commitment to the sport steadily grew.
As siblings, Ela and Amy naturally gravitated toward each other at the rink. Amy’s love for skating became infectious, and it wasn’t long before Ela joined her on the ice. Their sisterly bond made the challenging days more manageable and the joyous moments even sweeter. Ela recalls, “It was never intentional, but I think the sisterly bond made me feel less alone at the rink, all the hard days easier, and all the moments a little sweeter.”
Ela Cui performing her program
The Road to U.S. Championships
Both Ela and Amy had their sights set on qualifying for the U.S. Championships. Ela made her breakthrough by securing a spot at Nationals during Sectionals. It wasn’t until later that they realized they’d be heading to Ohio together for the first time. Ela expressed her gratitude for the opportunity, saying, “We both trained hard to get here, so I am grateful to have this opportunity.”
Amy reflects on their journey, “In a few weeks, we will be in Ohio at our first U.S. Championships together. It will be the first competition we have done together in quite some time. I’m honestly excited to help Ela with hair and makeup and just be able to share my first junior U.S. Championships experience with her.”
Supporting Each Other
As siblings with a shared passion for figure skating, Ela and Amy have a unique dynamic. They began their skating journey together, competing against each other in the early years, which, as Ela recalls, was “very fun.” While their skating disciplines eventually diverged, they remained each other’s biggest supporters. Amy’s self-driven and talented approach inspires Ela, while Ela’s fearlessness and confidence bolster Amy’s competitive spirit.
Amy beautifully sums up their relationship: “Although our skating journey and challenges look a little different, one thing will never change: I will always be there for Ela, and I know Ela will always be there for me. That is a very special bond I am so blessed to have.”
In the coming weeks, these incredible sisters will unite at the U.S. Championships, and we can’t wait to see them shine. Their journey from beginners to national competitors is a testament to their dedication, resilience, and the enduring bond that ties them together.