Article by Zara K. Khan - November 22, 2017
Speed skating is a competitive form of ice skating which involves competitors racing against each other in traveling a certain distance within a specific duration of time. I recently interviewed Pickering High School’s seventeen-year old speed skater Daniella Sykes.
Zara: So what is it about speed skating that makes you feel good about the sport?
Daniella: When racing and practicing, it is important to constantly stay alert because things are always changing, and that is the reason why I love the sport. Whether at practice or in competition you are always pushing yourself to do better, be better, and go faster. The team environment at practice is a lot of fun and we work together to push each other to become better skater.
Zara: What are your aspirations and things that you look forward to in the coming years?
Daniella: I'm not sure where speed skating will take me or how far in competition I would get but I'm excited to find out where I would end up. I'm going to be looking at training centers on the West Coast.
Zara: Who is your inspiration ?
Daniella: I am inspired by multiple athletes but am unable to pick only one because so many have inspired me to be a better athlete. They all work so hard and are from all over the world it would be too difficult for me to just pick one.
Zara: How many hours do you practice a week?
Daniella: I practice on ice approximately 8 hours a week. When I'm not on Ice I have to practice and train independently. I cycle, weight lift, run and do dry land training drills that I replicate on Ice drills and techniques.
Zara: What advice do you have for people that want to get into speed skating?
Daniella: For anyone who would want to try speed skating I would suggest you find a club near by and see if they have any open house events coming up. Open houses are set up throughout the year to allow people to try speed skating for free if there aren't any open houses coming up I would contact the club and ask about their try before joining program. All Ontario clubs have a try before joining program which is a four-week program allowing people to try speed skating for small fee. These programs allow for people to try and find out if they like it before committing. If you like being a part of a team, pushing yourself to be better, stronger, and faster, you should come give it a try!