Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jennifer Williams

2/7/2006 (9 years ago)

Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)

BEL AIR, Md. Sixteen-year-old Olympic figure skater Kimmie Meissner may dazzle audiences and judges with her triple-axel jump, but off the ice, the high-school junior is about as grounded as they come.

U.S. FIGURE SKATER PERFORMS – Kimmie Meissner performs during the women's long program at the U.S. figure skating championships in St. Louis Jan. 14. The 16-year-old skater from the Archdiocese of Baltimore is a competitor in the XX Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. (CNS photo/Reuters)

U.S. FIGURE SKATER PERFORMS – Kimmie Meissner performs during the women's long program at the U.S. figure skating championships in St. Louis Jan. 14. The 16-year-old skater from the Archdiocese of Baltimore is a competitor in the XX Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. (CNS photo/Reuters)

Highlights

By Jennifer Williams

Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)

2/7/2006 (9 years ago)

Published in Marriage & Family


Shortly after the U.S. figure-skating championships in St. Louis in mid-January, in which she scored a second-place spot and a follow-up appearance on NBC's "Today" show, Meissner spent a Wednesday night with her parents, Judy and Paul, dining at Ruby Tuesday's in the Baltimore suburb of Bel Air. After dinner, the young 5-foot 3-inch skater, wearing pink sweats, stood in front of a toasty fire and talked about studying for an upcoming algebra exam. While her family seemed quite ordinary as they relaxed in their Harford County home their two dogs and a cat nearby there were a few clues as to the hectic nature of their lives. "I still haven't taken the Christmas decorations down," joked Judy Meissner, who for 10 years has driven her only daughter one hour each way to the University of Delaware Ice Skating Science Development Center in Newark for training each weekday and on some weekends. The Meissners also have three sons Nate, 28; Adam, 24; and Luke, 20. Like her life, Kimmie Meissner's room is split between the ordinary and her Olympic skater status, with clothes piled on a chair in one corner and competition medals hanging from another. While her rigorous practice schedule leaves no time for signature high-school moments such as the school prom, participation in clubs or even lunch with friends, the teenager still leads a relatively normal life. She goes to church on Sundays the family belongs to St. Ignatius Parish in Hickory, Md. and she goes running with her dogs, watches television and snuggles at night with her cat, Ozzie. "Sometimes he'll sleep on my head," the teen said with a grin. Since she first hit the ice at age 6, her love of skating has been as gripping as the toe pick on the blade of a figure skate. "Skating makes me so happy," said the young Olympian, who is coached by Pam Gregory. "I'm not just doing it for a medal." Even when she's told she should rest, Meissner said, she is anxious to get her feet onto the ice. Over the span of a decade, her passion for and dedication to the sport have remained unwavering. "I try to remind myself what my ultimate goal is," she said. "It could just be a little goal for the day like I want to skate a clean round or it could be a big goal like I want to go to nationals." At the end of the day, the teen says it's practice that's the most fun. "You're challenging yourself, and when you achieve a goal it makes you feel so good about yourself," she said, a grin lighting up her small, pixie-like face. As sharp as she is on the ice, Meissner does have one routine she always follows. "I always put my left skate on first and then my right and I always take my right skate off first and then my left," she said. Meissner glides into a discussion about her family and her faith as smoothly as she swirls around the Delaware ice rink. "God plays an important role in my life," she said. "I realize my talent was given to me by him, and I try to use it to the best of my ability." She never prays to God to help her win, but when she was suffering a cold at nationals and her energy was sapped, she did look to God and thought, "I just need to do one program, and I would love to do good." The teenager is keenly aware of her parents' sacrifices. "My mom gives up a lot of social time," Meissner said. "And the boots and blades can be expensive. Everything piles up. I wouldn't be where I am today without their sacrifices." "We're just so proud of her, because as good as she is on the ice, we know she's even better off the ice," said Judy Meissner. Watching their daughter compete is stressful, said Paul Meissner, who himself plays ice hockey. A podiatrist, he makes time in his schedule each Friday to take his daughter to the rink. "She's a very determined young lady," he added. Copyright (c) 2006 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

---

Copyright (c) 2007 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Marriage & Family

Woman's 'instincts' miraculously save husband's life Watch

Image of Nicole and Scott Mayhew

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nicole Mayhew went home immediately after experiencing a bugging feeling that her husband was in trouble. Scott Mayhew was pinned under their Ford Explorer and had been yelling for help which no one apparently heard. She arrived home right on time to save him from ... continue reading


WHO IS THAT? Mysterious 'ghost child' appears in couple's wedding photo Watch

Image of Denis' wife, Christiana had been using it as her profile picture on Facebook before a friend pointed out the ghostly face hidden between them.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If a picture is worth a thousand words, some elements of a picture become known only long afterwards. A couple in Virginia had the fact pointed out to them that a macabre "photo bomber" lurks on their favorite wedding photo. The person appears to be a child, a ... continue reading


When culture no longer cares about marriage, family, everyone suffers, Pope says Watch

Image of The second of two talks on the complementary nature of men and women, Pope Francis says that the Book of Genesis shows how God created the heavens and earth, and then a special creature made in his likeness to care and watch over the earth.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis, in a homily earlier this week said that a culture that does not value "the stable and life-giving covenant between a man and woman is certainly a loss for everyone. We must bring honor back to marriage and the family." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Criminal family raises money for daughter's fake terminal illness Watch

Image of Neighbors alerted police officials of suspicious GoFundMe page.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After a family falsely claimed their three-year-old daughter suffers from a dangerous heart disease, a family friend posted a page on the GoFundMe website for their support. The family trio from Marietta, Georgia is now arrested and faces charges of felony conspiracy. ... continue reading


Mother murdered and baby abducted after Indiana woman poses as social worker Watch

Image of Jones' family members stated Jones told them she had been pregnant with twins and one died.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Horrific reports have come out that a woman, claiming to be a social worker, went to an apartment in Indiana where a newly-born child and her mother resided, with means to take the baby away. However, the woman was found to have never even worked in the child-welfare ... continue reading


Toddler's vivid nightmares suggest mother's death was not an accident Watch

Image of Natali Castellanos-Tyler was killed in what originally was believed to be a single-car car accident.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Natali Castellanos-Tyler was involved in a single car accident after losing control of her Ford explorer and hitting a tree that resulted in her death, according to police back in February. However, her husband has observed their young daughter screaming about a ... continue reading


New breast cancer cases in the U.S. predicted to double by 2030 Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Recent government research projected an increase of new breast cancer cases up to 50 percent by 2030, as well as a change on its age distribution. The current statistic is one in every eight women will develop the disease during her lifetime. The surge will definitely ... continue reading


Elementary school under fire for transgender kindergarten lesson Watch

Image of Jazz Jennings grew up transgender and turned her story into a children's book.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Allowing young kids to read books about something controversial is considered by most as one aggressive move. Recently, in Mitchell Primary School, school officials publicly stated their apology for allowing kindergarten through third grade students to read a book ... continue reading


Inside the rebellious mind: MRI scans record teenagers' brain activity when trying to rebel and separate from parents Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study suggests that rebelliousness is triggered with teenagers' desire to separate from their parents in pursuing individuality. With the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), psychologists were able to track the brain activity of 22 teenagers responding to ... continue reading


Crazed father's attempt at suicide in hospital led to an unexpected 'miracle' Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A father went inside the hospital armed with a 9mm handgun with a plan to kill himself if his son died. George Pickering, 59, was going to commit suicide in order to die with his son, after the doctors told him he was already brain dead and would be pulled off life ... continue reading


All Marriage & Family News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 4:8-12
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, addressed ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 21, 29
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh for he is good, for ... Read More

Gospel, John 10:11-18
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd lays ... Read More

Reading 2, First John 3:1-2
1 You must see what great love the Father has ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 26th, 2015 Image

St. Cletus
April 26: St. Cletus was the third bishop of Rome, and succeeded St. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter