Submitted Jade Hom
After successfully competing as a figure skater at the national level and sacrificing a more traditional school experience to do so, sophomore Jade Hom has recently walked away from the sport she loves due to ankle injuries and life complications.
Hom loves figure skating for myriad reasons.
“You get to be creative and tell a story through skating, but you also have to show elements as well,” Hom said. “It’s a mix of art and athleticism.”
Hom began skating at age eight and recently returned to public school after being enrolled in online school from grades seven to nine so she could focus on figure skating. She says online school provided a more flexible schedule; mornings and afternoons were spent training for three to four hours, then schoolwork was done when her skating practice was finished.
“Mentally you got used to it; it’s like ok this is what I’m used to,” Hom said. “Physically, sometimes it was harder. More towards the end of a week [the physical pain] was terrible,”
Last season, Hom and her partner, Franz-Peter Jerosch, won the 2018 Novice National Championship, a high-stakes competition.
Hom said that skating with a partner is complicated.
“Some days everything feels so natural, and other days you had to work extra hard together,” Hom said.
Also last season, Hom injured both of her ankles. She was able to keep training and competing, but it was a setback for her and partner. At their most recent competition, Skate Detroit, in Detroit, Michigan, they had to remove some elements of turning and jumps from their program. They ended up in the middle placings which, for them, was expected; the pair had recently moved up a division, and with some elements removed they fell short of what was needed to win.
Despite her love for the sport, Hom decided to end her skating career this past season.
“My partner wanted to focus on college, and skating is a pretty expensive sport, so trying to find another partner and all it’s really expensive,” Hom said. “So, I decided to be done for good.”
Hom’s skating also impacted the lives of her family.
“Our work schedules revolved around her skating schedule, which also affected our weekends, holidays and vacations were out of state competitions,” Hom’s mother, Mary Hom, said.
Hom’s transition back to public school has been a relief for the family because of the demands figure skating has financially.
“Now’s a good time [for this transition] so she can focus on her studies to get ready for college, and possibly try another sport,” Mary Hom said.