UAHS student reflects on her successful figure skating career to date and looks to what’s next.
BY ADELAIDE PETRAS ’24
Sophomore Cecilia Donohue competed at the Argentinian Junior National figure skating competition this August, claiming first place in the ladies’ singles category. Having been born in Argentina, she went on to represent the country in the Junior Grand Prix (JGP) Solidarity Cup taking place in Poland from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1.
Q: How long have you been figure skating?
A: I started skating when I was five. I first went on the ice when I was two and a half. From then I started doing little group classes, and once you’ve finished the group classes, private lessons. So probably a good nine years.
Q: What is your favorite part about figure skating?
A: It sounds cliché, but the lessons it teaches you. I like the hard work, like falling on jumps, getting up again—you have to try and try and try. And even then, sometimes, they’re not as consistent as you want them to be. I like accomplishing my goals, learning new jumps and spins…[Skating has] also taught me to be happy for other people. I feel like when you’re a kid, when you’re a teenager, you can’t, like, be happy for everyone else if they’re doing better than you. But skating teaches you early on that you’ve got to celebrate other people’s success, too—and you’ll have your own.
Q: What made you choose figure skating over other sports or activities?
A: I committed a lot of time to it. Even in elementary school, I’d be leaving early from school to go to practice because I had such a rigorous schedule from when I was so young. And then it made me, sounds cheesy, but, fall in love with the hard work. I feel like I got through a lot of the lessons [that] sports teach you quicker in skating than I did with soccer or lacrosse.
Q: What moment from your athletic career are you most proud of?
A: I won Midwestern sectionals as a juvenile a few years ago when I was in, like, fifth or sixth grade. That showed me that I could keep going with it. I don’t know; that was just like the first time that I got a taste of what I was, cliché again, capable of, what I could do. And then also this past weekend, winning Junior Nationals. I’ve been thinking about the whole situation for the past few months…But [once] you’re actually there, it’s a really cool feeling.
Q: Who’s your role model and why?
A: Gosh, I’d probably say my mom because she’s a doctor; she went through, like, so many years of medical school. She grew up in a small town in Argentina, and [she] met my dad and moved to the states to become a doctor. And now she’s built herself up a good life for her family; that’s what I always hope to be able to do. In skating, I admire Mariah Bell. I really like her. But they all cycle through so quickly because skating, at least right now, is not really a longevity sport. You kind of are in your prime for two, three years, and then you’re out. But Mariah Bell is probably my role model from skating.
Q: What are your plans for your future in figure skating?A: I’m gonna be doing at least two more years as a junior, and then my first senior eligible year will be the year of the Olympics. So, obviously, my goal would be to be able to go to the Olympics: Milan 2026. Then I’d probably take a gap year after high school, and then go to college the year following.