Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Michael Weiss, Three-Time U.S. National Figure Skating Champion

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Michael Weiss, Three-Time U.S. National Figure Skating Champion

Article excerpt

Michael Weiss skates into the spotlight this season as a man on the move. Ever since landing the first quadruple jump ever seen in competition during the 1997 season, Weiss has emerged as one of the country's top skaters. He has won three national titles, and placed second at the State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships this year. Weiss hopes to glide through the competition at the World Championships in Germany starting March 25. In his free time, Weiss works with various charities, including the Special Olympics, where he works with special-needs individuals to learn skating and other aspects of recreation.

Parks & Recreation: How did you get involved in figure skating?

Weiss: I grew up in a gymnasium with my parents as Olympic gymnasts and coaches. When I was 9 years old, I went to the ice rink with my older sister--and I've been skating ever since. I progressed quicker than most skaters my age, and that encouraged me to continue to improve. After just two years of skating, I made it to the National Championships.

Parks & Recreation: How Was parks and recreation a part of making skating a career?

Weiss: "When I first started competing at age 10, the competition of the year was the Cherry Blossom Invitational at the Mount Vernon Ice Rink in Alexandria, VA. It is a public recreational center. Every spring, my sister and I would prepare vigorously for Cherry Blossom. It played a crucial role in my competitive development, getting me comfortable with performing for judges and smaller audiences.

Parks & Recreation: Do you think kids have enough places to play or experience sports like figure skating today?

Weiss: My two kids (4 and 5 years old) take swim classes at the recreation center pool and use the outdoor playgrounds several times a week in the summer time. …

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