Amber Glenn, 22, missed an appearance in the 2022 Winter Olympics due a bout with the Coronavirus, but that has not stopped her. She continues to compete in a sport she loves and one in which she has dedicated her life to pursuing being the best.
Tell us a little about yourself and how your interest in figure skating began.
I began skating almost on a fluke. My mother and aunt wanted my three cousins, my sister and I to do an activity together that wasn’t in the blazing Texas heat. We started at an ice rink inside a Frisco mall, and I fell in love with the sport from the beginning.
Texas is not known for ice skating but people like you are bringing more recognition to the sport here. Where do you see Texas heading with this sport?
With the implementation of the many star centers across the DFW-area I believe ice skating and hockey will steadily grow over the coming years.
What were your goals when you were a young skater? Did you aspire to appear in the Olympics one day?
I remember my biggest goal was to “Compete on TV” which I accomplished at the young age of 15. Then my goal became to push myself to reach my fullest potential in the sport. It wasn’t to be in the Olympics. It was to be the best in the sport.
Talk about some of your accomplishments that mean the most to you and why.
One of my biggest accomplishments, in my opinion, is landing my triple axel. I got the rest of my triples by the age of 11, and, at that point in time, that was all you needed to do to be at the top. With time that changed. and young skaters started learning jumps with no end in sight. I then made it my goal as an adult to land a new jump for the first time in over 9 years. It took hard work, but I eventually did it and proved to myself and to others it was possible. It’s a very rare jump. There’s the fact that I accomplished this jump after I’ve already gone through puberty and have become an adult, rather than what’s more common – for someone to get a triple axel when they’re in their teens. But to learn something completely new at my age – it’s “old dog, new trick.”
You suffered from burnout around the age of 15. What happened?
I started competing on the national level at age eight. I had made it onto Team USA at age 13 (the youngest you can be). For those years, I was pushing myself beyond my limits physically and mentally. I eventually broke down and couldn’t handle the pressure on my body and mind. I’m happy to say that I put my health first after that, and I now listen to my body and mind and treat it with the care it deserves.
What was your turning point to return to the ice after a period of time?
It was after I decided to completely restart with a new rink, new coaches, and a new mindset. I decided to return with a renewed love for the sport and respect for myself.
What’s it take to be an “elite” figure skater?
Dedication, mental strength, passion, and an overall love for what you do and understanding it won’t be easy but it’ll be worth it.
What would you say to inspire others who want to walk in your footsteps?
I would say that what you’re learning now you’ll use for the rest of your life. The discipline, the focus and hard work is all a part of life so finding the balance between pushing yourself while also keeping that passion and joy alive is vital .
What future skating event are you looking forward to?
As of right now, I’m actually training in Colorado Springs at the Olympic and Paralympic Training Center, but I hope to be performing at home in the Galleria Dallas Christmas shows!
Cover Photo Courtesy weston m from Unsplash
Bob Valleau is a freelance writer living in McKinney, Texas.