Mahira Tandon still vividly remembers the moment she decided to go all-in on the challenging sport of competitive figure roller-skating.
“When I was 5 years old, I was taking skating lessons at the Skatin’ Station II in Canton and I saw these girls skating in pretty, sparkling dresses,” Tandon recalled. “I told my mom, ‘I want to do that’.”
Now a senior at Plymouth High School, Tandon is doing it as well as anyone in the United States.
Tandon is a standout in the roller-skating figures events, which require competitors to trace with the edge of their skate a figure eight-shaped line on the rink.
Not only are eagle-eyed judges making sure skaters are keeping their skate edge on the line, but they’re observing their posture and other elements before calculating a score (with 100 being the best).
“I was super-nervous my first competition,” Tandon said. “But I loved it from the start.”
During her 11-year skating career, Tandon has accumulated roomful of medals and plaques — a testament to the dedication she has put into the sport.
Success didn’t come overnight to the multi-faceted student-athlete, who, along with excelling in the classroom (she is a straight-A student), has participated in dance, horseback riding and karate.
“Leading up to the big competitions, I practice three hours a night with my coach,” she said. “I’m a little sore at times, but it’s all worth it.”
Representing the U.S.A.
In October, Tandon will be representing Team USA at the World Figure Cup in Freiburg, Germany. She earned a spot on Team USA by winning the Junior World Skate Ladies Figures at the USARS National Championships in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Tandon has come full circle in the sport. The five-time national champion started teaching beginning skating this summer to 5- and 6-year-olds.
Help Mahira get to Germany
To help curtail costs of the trip to Germany for Tandon and coach Vickie Hudson, a gofundme.com account has been established. If you are interested in helping support Tandon’s journey, click here.
As of Sept. 22, Tandon had raised $1,035 toward her $4,000 goal.
“To everyone who’s helped me through the years to get to this point, thank you for all your love and support,” Tandon said.
Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or email@example.com.