Meet American figure skater Polina Edmunds, who has possessed an indomitable heart for the sport since a young age and has continued her love of figure skating throughout her life. Polina’s achievements in figure skating are nothing short of incredible; being a two-time U.S. national silver medalist in 2014 and 2016, the 2015 Four Continents champion, and has even represented the United States at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Polina currently studies Communications at Santa Clara University whilst maintaining her busy schedule as a pro athlete. We were given the privilege of speaking with Polina about her experience as an outstanding figure skater, a world traveler, and her advice for the aspiring athlete.
What are you currently inspired by?
“I’m inspired by the opportunities and memories I have through skating. Getting to travel to countries all over the world for competitions, where I represent Team USA, is always incredible. It’s something few get to experience, so for me to travel the world for my sport is something I’m immensely grateful for and proud of. I meet so many new people and make friends with skaters and athletes from all over the world, and it’s so cool to connect and relate with them. Being a part of this athletic community inspires me to keep working hard and continue to compete at the highest level.”
Tell us more about how you first got started in Figure Skating.
“My mom is a figure skating coach, so she would take me to the ice rink as a baby while she taught and my older brother skated. One day when I was 19 months old I took my brother’s skates and put them on at home, and my mom saw that and decided it was time to put me on the ice. I took my first steps on ice at 19 months old and essentially never stopped.”
Take us through a day in the life of Polina Edmunds.
“As a full time student at Santa Clara University and an elite athlete, my schedule is usually pretty busy. On a typical weekday, I wake up at 7:30am and go to my classes from 8:00am – 11:30am. I then grab a quick lunch and head to the ice rink to train. I’m on ice from 1:45-2:45pm, and then I have an off ice core/yoga/Pilates class for strength and flexibility from 3:00-4:00pm. I get back on the ice for another session from 5:15-6:15pm, and then head back to my college dorms. I’ll go get dinner with my friends and roommates and then do homework and hang-out for a little bit before sleeping.”
What is your regular training regimen like?
“On ice I do a lot of repetition — jumping, spinning, practicing skating skills, and running my programs over and over again. Off ice workouts are just as important, and I have several different ones. I have my stretching classes where I do a lot of core/Pilates/yoga work, and then I have my track conditioning classes where I do a lot of running and jumping exercises for cardio and strength, and I have ballet classes to keep up my elegance and dance movements on the ice.”
Favorite healthy snack?
“I love sliced apples, bananas, and nuts.”
What did you enjoy most about competing at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi?
“My favorite thing about competing at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi was staying in the Olympic Village with athletes from all over the world. There is such a sense of family and camaraderie between all the athletes in the village, and I felt so much respect from and for everyone, no matter what country we represented or what age we were. To be a part of that was just so magical. I also loved performing in the Olympic Arena, because with all the media and cameras there and the filled arena I just felt so excited (and of course nervous, but that’s normal) to show what I could do to the world . It felt so validating for all the years of hard work I put into the sport, and performing under the rings knowing the whole world was watching was absolutely insane and wondrous to me.”
What advice can you offer to an aspiring Olympian?
“My advice to any athlete shooting for the Olympics is to work hard and focus on your own success and progress. Instead of comparing yourself to your peers and competitors when you’re learning and coming up in your sport, you should concentrate solely on what YOU are doing, because it’s the ultimate end goal that matters, not the little bumps in the road throughout the years.”
What do you believe is the most difficult aspect of figure skating?
“I think the most difficult aspect of skating is making it look easy. People love to watch how graceful and musical the sport is, but don’t fully realize how much strength and conditioning goes into making it look that way. We train on and off ice for multiple hours every day — all to make a 4 minute program look beautiful and effortless to the audience and judges. The work that goes into that is extremely difficult, but also what makes the sport so appealing to watch.”
Name one luxury you cannot live without.
“A luxury I can’t live without is my car! I have a 2016 328i White BMW, with red leather seats inside so it’s super stylish and fun to drive! I bought it myself last year with money I earned throughout the years from skating competitions, so my car has a lot of sentimental value to me in regards of my skating career and the work I put in throughout my childhood.”
Who are some of your favorite clothing designers at the moment?
“Some of my favorite designers at the moment are Sherri Hill, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and Ted Baker. Some of my favorite brands that I love to shop at for my everyday outfits as well include Free People, Urban Outfitters, and Victoria’s Secret.”
Style advice from Polina Edmunds.
“I love bright colors! I love the way a pop of color captures people’s attention, and creates a cheery mood to yourself and those around you. I love flowy romantic style clothes, as well as the fun form-fitting outfits that are really popular right now. I think trends are always changing, but style never does. My advice would be to know what you look good in and be confident in wearing it. New fashion becomes popular every season, but staying true to your best look is how people remember and appreciate your style!”
Where can we follow you?
Where to next?
“I travel to Colorado Springs in August to train at the Olympic Training Center for a week under US Figure Skating’s Champs Camp before the skating season officially starts. Then I have two international competitions lined up in October — Finlandia Trophy in Finland and Trophée Éric Bombard Grand Prix in France. These are two countries I haven’t been to before, so I’m super excited to travel there and explore their cultures! I love going to Europe, so I’m very excited to return there and compete.”