Gliding Toward Goals

by | Jan 2019

Ava Roy ice skating state champion

Photo: Tamara Roy

Edina figure skater wins a state championship.

Ava Roy, a sixth grade figure skater has already surpassed most kids her age by winning the Minnesota State Championship for figure skating. If she continues at this rate, there is no doubt we will be seeing her at the Olympics in the future, which is her ultimate goal.

Ava got her start in ice skating at the young age of 4. Her mother, Tamara Roy, enrolled her in a “learn to skate” class since she figured it would be a good activity for a child growing up in Minnesota. Almost immediately Ava fell in love with the sport and only two years later she joined a figure skating club and started working directly with a head coach, whose job was to prepare her for competitions.

“She loved to skate so much that she would cry when she had to get off the ice to go home,” Tamara says.

Ava fondly reflects back on her first years learning how to skate. She remembers watching all of the older children performing their solos in the ice show. She then pushed herself to become a better skater and unsurprisingly, performed her first solo just a few years later.

“I loved being in the spotlight, people watching me, the costumes, the sparkles, the skating to music and I didn’t even mind the cold,” Ava says.
Now, at the age of 11, along with off and on ice training, Ava skates six days a week for three hours a day. She has a coach, ballet instructor as well as a Pilates, strength and conditioning coach whom she works with to improve her flexibility and strength. She always skates like she is performing, even during rehearsal, so when competition day comes she skates as if she were still on the practice rink.

“This drive to achieve in skating is intrinsic, something that comes from within her,” Tamara says.

Kelly Benzinger, Ava’s figure skating coach, has been working with Ava for the past five years. Although Benzinger realizes what a talented skater Ava is, she maintains a strict and professional relationship with Ava to ensure she skates to her full potential. She focuses on continuing to build a strong foundation with Ava so when she learns new skills they will be even more impactful.

“My favorite part about coaching Ava is that she is fearless,” Benzinger says.

Ava was a state championship winner, which is a major accomplishment for anyone, especially for someone her age. When she met this goal she was overjoyed since she will now have a banner hung in the rink with her name on it to commemorate her accomplishment.

“My ultimate goal is obviously the Olympics but I have many short term goals that I will need to get to reach that ultimate goal. I need to remember to stay the course and that all of my small accomplishments and goals add up to larger ones,” Ava says.

When asked to pick her favorite part about skating, Ava can’t seem to choose just one. Jumping, spinning, hearing her edges cut the ice, for her there is nothing better.

“When I jump I feel free, like I can fly,” Ava says.


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