National figure skater attending Northwestern

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National figure skater attending Northwestern

September 17, 2009

Laura Hopkins, Midwest City sophomore at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, has been figure skating for 15 years, and because she has continued to practice this talent, she has earned a silver medal in dramatic artistic figure skating.

“I’ve wanted to be a skater for as long as I can remember,” Hopkins said. “I started taking lessons when I was 4, but started seriously at age 6.”

 Laura Hopkins
Northwestern’s very own figure skater Laura Hopkins is photographed during her routine at the competition where she qualified for the National Showcase competition. The Mid-Continent Invitational competition was held in Wichita, Kan. Hopkins received gold and silver medals at this competition.

Hopkins won the silver medal at the State Games of America, formerly called the U.S. Olympic Festival, this summer in Colorado Springs, Colo.

To qualify for the State Games of America, participants must first receive a medal at a local state game. In Oklahoma, Hopkins is a member of the Sooner Skating Club of Oklahoma, and participates in the Sooner State Games.

During the national contest, she competed against others who also had medaled in this event from other states. She skated against 12 others to win the silver medal in dramatic artistic figure skating.

Because the State Games of America are only held every other year, she will be the reigning silver medalist in this category until the 2011 national event.

Hopkins said the ceremony for the State Games is similar to the Olympics.

“There is an opening ceremony and each state carries their respective flags,” Hopkins said. “This event takes place at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.”

Her mother, Donna Hopkins, is the vice president of the Sooner Skating Club of Oklahoma.

“Oklahoma is not known as the figure skating mecca,” Donna Hopkins said. “The Sooner Skating Club started four or five years ago to meet the needs of skaters participating at Blazers Ice Centre who couldn't benefit from the Oklahoma Figure Skating Club.”

On weekends when Hopkins returns to Oklahoma City, she practices on her home rink. She also helps with the Learn to Skate program by teaching beginning skating.

Hopkins, a psychology major, said she attended Northwestern because of the smaller class sizes and affordable tuition; however, there is no place in Alva for her to practice her skating. She improvises by doing off-ice training such as stretching and practicing her routines in tennis shoes.

“I am able to practice my spins on a training device called a spinner,” Laura Hopkins said.

Although she had planned to focus on her classes once she began college, Hopkins continues to skate whenever she has a chance.

“I want to be a skater as long as I can,” Hopkins said.

 
-NW-