Published on 17/02/2022 9:35 am

While in Beijing the ice skaters compete in the women’s single free skate this morning, we made a trip to Kockelscheuer where Luxembourg’s youth prepare for being the future Olympic athletes.

„When I skate, I like the cold air going in my face. It feels nice and I can really express myself”, says Sofia Steele. She is 13 years old and trains figure skating six days a week, about 10 hours in total, including in school time. Sofia goes to the Sportlycée, at school they focus on their individual trainings as well as other lessons. Sofia also enjoys the competitions, lately, she has trained for the Coupe de Printemps, a championship hosted by the Ice-skating club Luxembourg. Skaters from all over the world compete for three days in March. Sofia is working on her speed, “the in-between bits and getting fast into the jumps, not slowing down before them. These last couple of weeks, we have been especially working on that.”

One of Sofia’s team members is already a bit further. Ysaline Hibon is 16 and she was selected to compete in the next Youth Olympic Games. “My aim is to participate in world championships and Olympics. I work hard for this.” For a long time, no figure skater from Luxembourg participated. The last one, Fleur Maxwell, continues to inspire the aspiring athletes. “I hope to see more Luxembourgish figure skaters in the Olympics”, Ysaline says. To reach her goals, Ysaline trains 15 to 16 yours per week, often at 6.30am and once again in the evening. “I love to improvise on music, because it makes me feel good and it makes me feel free on the ice.”

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Local Matters: Luxembourg’s Ice-Skating Youth