Irish National Ice Skating Champion Clara Peters visited the Olympic Council offices earlier in the week and talked about her gruelling training schedule and her hopes for the Sochi Winter Olympics of 2014.
Clara began skating internationally for Ireland in the 2008/9 season and has represented Ireland at European and World Championships since 2008.
She has steadily improved her World Championship ranking from 54th in 2008/9 to 29th in 2012/13.
Clara, who was born 1991 in Essen, Germany, because her parents were working there at the time, moved to Ireland when she was 18 months old and was raised in Dublin.
She began skating in Dublin from the age of seven, travelling to the Ice Bowl in Belfast to access ice time. In January of 2006 Clara moved to Florida to be coached by Kerry Leitch and then on to her current training base in Delaware USA.
Ron Ludington, a former Olympic medallist, and who has coached many top US skaters, oversees her programme.
Karen Ludington is her head coach and travels with Clara to major competitions. Jeff Di Gregario works on her rotations and jump techniques and her conditioning programme is overseen by Geoff Schneider in Delaware University.
Clara said : ” A typical day will start at 8-8.40am on ice-warm up and going through my long programme. 9.30- 10.10am I have a technical session focusing on jumps and rotations, and between 11-11.40am I have a skating skills class. Then it’s off to the gym for a 1 hour conditioning session which can include plyometrics, cardio, yoga and/or palate. From 2.30pm I study for my sports science degree course.”
Peters said her focus in 2013/14 “is to work on my programme for the next two international competitions in the lead in to the September 2013 World Championships in Germany, an Olympic qualifier. This season I will focus on improving my overall consistency and ultimately my overall score in major competitions with a view to representing my country in Sochi 2014”.
30 skaters will take part in Sochi and we wish Clara every success in her quest to qualify. You can follow her progress on Twitter @clarajosie119