Teen figure skaters in find friendship on the ice in St. Louis
If their time together on the ice — warming up at Brentwood Ice Arena before the sun rises — is considered “friendly competition,” then Natalie Friis and Isabelle Forster both get and give high marks.
“She’s always been like my standard for how to skate, and she’s very fun to watch,” Friis said of Forster. “She’s very, very talented.”
“She is one of the prettiest skaters at our rink, I think. And she just works her butt off,” said Forster of Friis. “She’s really good.”
The high school seniors, Forster at University City, Friis at St. Charles West, have skated together for years.
“I did a ‘learn to skate’ with my friends for a birthday party, and I just liked it,” said Friis, who says she’s been hooked ever since.
For the past six years, Natalie’s spent about six hours a week on the ice — and more ahead of competition — on top of a job, high school, preparing for college, dance team and enough other teenage activities to make your head spin. What keeps her committed?
“It’s genuinely just a really fun feeling,” she said. She also plans to join the club figure skating team at her college next fall. “I like the more like creative dancing side to a little more than the technical side. But I also like the athleticism that comes with it.”
Forster hardly remembers life before lacing up: her mom is a figure-skating coach.
“I’m guessing that I liked it,” she laughs. She hopes to also be a coach one day, and she’s already padding her resume with gold.
“I am now a double gold medalist in US figure skating,” she said.
In the Winter Olympics, she said she’s most excited to watch Mariah Bell and Jason Brown skate for Team USA.
“What I’ve learned with passing some tests is you have to keep going if you really want to get something, no matter how hard it is, because in the end you’re going to get what you want.”
Though figure skating is an individual sport, the girls prove it’s more than slick jumps that lift them up.
“It’s very easy to make friends in the skating community sharing like one common thing and because it’s so unique, it brings everyone together,” said Friis. “We’re pretty good friends. We have a lot of fun together.”
“We get to cheer each other on,” added Forster.
To learn more about the “learn to skate” programs at Brentwood Ice Rink, visit their website.