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I have been skating since I was 5 and my skating expenses are turning into a financial burden to my family with four children in regular schools and two dependent grandparents.

My plan is to continue training as hard as possible to qualify for 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 Nationals. Given the opportunity I will do my best in qualifying for the U.S. Team at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

To achieve my goals and compete successfully, my ideal budget is:

  • 2008 - US$77,210 and
  • 2009 - US$77,210
  • I dream about earning the top figure skating titles every day. I have got what it takes but a little help from my friends will be very much appreciated.

    What It Costs

    Have I ever received any help, scholarship or financial aid for your skating or school?

    This issue is becoming more and more critical since the sport of figure skating is very expensive. You would think that top skaters in the U.S. from the novice level and up should receive some financial support from the U.S. Figure Skating Association or other organization promoting this sport. The reality is very dissapointing. In fact, several friends of mine have started skating for other countries and received full support of the respective national federations. Some U.S. skaters are supported by their home clubs, rinks and local businesses. Unfortunately, so far the only source of funding for my training is my parents.

    Download Spreadsheet (pdf)

    Masha's Skating Expense Budget
    Coaching Rate ($/hr) Hours/Month Total/month   Total/Year  
    Not included: Medical expenses
    On-ice 80 20 $1,600 $19,200
    Off-ice 50 10 $500 $6,000
    Ballet/Dance/Choreography 60 8 $480 $5,760
    Ice time Rate ($/hr) Hours/Month Total/month Total/Year
    Free style sessions 13 90 $1,170 $14,040
    Competitions Rate ($) Events/Year   Total/Year
    USFSA/TBSC membership       $160
    Sign-up fees 120 9   $1,080
    Ice time 300 9   $2,700
    Coaching fees 640 90   $5,760
    Hotel for coach 600 9   $5,400
    Travel for 2 600 9   $5,400
    Hotel 600 9   $5,400
    Car rental 250 9   $2,250
    Equipment Rate ($) Times/Year   Total/Year
    Boots 600 1   $600
    Blades 600 1   $600
    Sharpening 10 6   $60
    Dresses Rate ($) Times/Year   Total/Year
    Short program 600 1   $600
    Long program 600 1   $600
    Shows 600 1   $600
    Practice Apparel, etc.       Total/Year
    Short program 100     $1,000
    Total Expenses       2008
    Total Expenses       2009
    Total Expenses       2008-2009

    How Can You Help?

    Every little bit helps. Here is a short list of suggestions:

  • Make a direct donation (we will provide all necessary paperwork for the tax deductible contributions),

  • Make a tax deductible contribution to New England Amateur Skating Foundation
       section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code) - download the Sponsor form: Word format, PDF format or plain text;

  • Use my customized search engine and follow the sponsored links of your interest,

  • Follow sponsored links on my site and do your online shopping,

  • Spread the word, and

  • Suggest your own ideas

  • How I Feel About It

    I love skating and I love my school, but as I move up the skating ladder I realize with guilt bordering on horror that my family’s expenses for my skating are climbing up a steeper ladder every year. My family and I feel so happy when I do well at competitions. It was incredible when I won Liberty, qualified to compete at Sectionals and Nationals last year. It was truly overwhelming when I won the Regionals this year, got 3rd at Sectionals and qualified to compete at the U.S. Nationals for the 2nd time. I know my family will give up anything to make it possible for me to follow my skating dreams, but the sacrifices at the expense of my 3 siblings leave this constant feeling of confusion and guilt in my heart.

    I love my family and it hurts me to hear my parents constantly discussing the ways to pay for the activities we enjoy so much, especially knowing that the cost of my skating by far overshadows the expenses for anything that my siblings have ever done. When my brother Nikita had to stop his tennis lessons for a while, so that we could pay for my and my coach’s trip to Sectionals, my excitement about the competition faded away.

    I wish there were a non-profit organization in the U.S., similar to those in Russia, most of Europe, Japan, Korea, and China, which would promote the sport of figure skating and raise funds to provide training and educational opportunities for the American athletes, putting their hearts and souls into competing for the U.S.A.

    Skating terms

    The Axel is a figure skating jump with a forward take-off. It is named after the Norwegian skater Axel Paulsen, who first performed the jump in 1882.

    An Axel jump has an extra ½ rotation in the air due to its forward take-off. I jump counterclockwise and takeoff from the left forward outside edge and land on the right back outside edge. I have to make 2½ rotations to complete the Double Axel.

    To perform the Axel, I skate on my right back outside edge in a strongly held check position, then step onto my left forward outside edge, crouch, vault over the toe pick and pounce up with my right leg up. Then I bring the left leg through to cross in front of the right in a back spin position, to bring the center of rotation around the right side of the body, make 2½ rotations in the air, uncross the legs, land on the right back outside edge and flow out of the jump. "Flow" is the key word. That's not what I do every time but I'm trying.

    Some skaters do a skid. They slightly skid the forward takeoff edge, especially on double and triple Axels, rather than vaulting directly off a clean edge. The skid helps the blade grip the ice on the takeoff.

    I could never do it naturally and all attempts to learn have not worked for me. I have to start working on the triple Axel in 2008 and "learn the natural skid".

    Skating terms

    Delayed Axel is similar to a regular Axel, but I take a very open body position on the ascent of the jump before pulling in to complete the rotation before landing.

    In an Open Axel, I have to maintain an open body position throughout the jump without delaying the rotation.

    A Tuck Axel has the same take-off and landing as a regular Axel, but I simply pull my legs up into a tuck or sit spin position in the air.

    A Half Axel is a jump with a regular Axel take-off but with only one rotation. This jump is sometimes called a bell jump or a once around.

    A One-foot Axel is a 1½ rotation jump with a regular Axel take-off that lands on the back inside edge of the takeoff foot - my left foot. This jump is sometimes called a Colledge, after 1937 World Champion Cecilia Colledge.

    An Inside Axel is a 1½ rotation jump that takes off from a forward inside edge and lands on the back outside edge of the same foot – my right foot. This jump is sometimes known as a Böckl, after its inventor Willy Böckl. Thank you Willy! I like this jump and use it all the time.

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