By Emily Drooby
Since she was a little kid, Emma Estrada has walked into an ice skating rink, laced up her skates and headed onto the ice.
Now all of her years of hard work and dedication have paid off. At only 17-years-old, she’s a national champion.
Emma and the 23 other members of the ‘Skyliners’ skating team captured the 2019 U.S. Synchronized Skating National Championship title in February.
Emma says, “It’s unreal and it honestly goes by so fast and it’s so much fun performing and doing what you love.”
Her love of the sport helped Emma glide to victory. She practices an average of 25 hours a week during the skating season.
Emma explained, “Skating is pretty much my whole world and social life…You always look forward to going to practice and while doing something that you love you are being rewarded, and you are meeting all of these amazing people. I mean it’s a win, win.”
The senior at Saint Francis Prep Catholic High School in Queens doesn’t let her grades slide. Emma says school helps her achieve success.
Emma said, “They were very supportive of missing school and helping me catch up on work and all of my teachers were completely for it.”
Cindy Zubli, the President of the Great Neck Figure Skating Club, who has known Emma since she was eight, says even with her busy schedule she is a perfect ten when it comes to being a role model.
“She has a lot of respect for the sport, she helps other skaters on the ice…We have little skaters out there now that are four and five years old and they’re out there and watching Emma and they’re like, ‘oh I want to be like that,’” Zubli explained.
Emma is jumping, winning, but most importantly, inspiring.