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



Comments


More Marriage & Family

Surrogate mothers forced into practice by husbands, boyfriends Watch

Image of Women from a poor demographic have become an increasing interest in the multi-billion dollar surrogate industry, with most mothers being forced or coerced into volunteering as a surrogate.

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

Women from a poor demographic have become an increasing interest in the multi-billion dollar surrogate industry, with most mothers being forced or coerced into volunteering as a surrogate. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "Surrogacy depends in many cases on the ... continue reading


'God is ready!' Letter from young girl to her grandfather touches the entire family as the man passes away Watch

Image of (WDAM)

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Children never fail to bring hope in the purest form. A Mississippi man died peacefully a night after he received a heartfelt note from his young granddaughter.  The 7-year-old girl said, through the note, that God is waiting for him and He is ready. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Medical chimps abandoned in the jungles of Liberia, left to starve and die Watch

Image of Abandoned chimps at the jungles of Liberia

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sixty-six chimpanzees were left in the deep jungles of Liberia after being used for medical experiments. Animal charities are seeking desperate help to save these animals. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The animals were used on the controversial virus ... continue reading


A step in the right direction: Number of sexually active teenagers in America drops

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Americans teenagers are less sexually active. Through a new survey, the research team found out that the decline is greater among teenage boys, compared to data from  1988. Young adults who opted to become ... continue reading


3 things women need from their husbands now Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When a man and woman decide to tie the knot, they both have expectations for the relationship. These eventually become needs to be fulfilled by each other in order to live with the sanctified union in peace and harmony. Men have certain needs from their wives, which ... continue reading


Former POW, Jessica Lynch shares what life is like 12 years after rescue from Iraqi captivity Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Although many expect Jessica Lynch to be perfectly fine now, she explains that she still battles with the emotional and physical trauma from her captivity during the Iraqi War twelve years ago. Lynch was just 19 when she was abducted by Iraqi troops and assaulted after ... continue reading


Gay man sues Bible publishers for 'emotional stress' over manipulated 'homosexuality is a sin' verses Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A gay man filed a $70 million lawsuit against Bible publishers claiming their alleged translations of the Bible brought him "emotional distress." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Bradley LaShawn Fowler, the man fighting with Bible publishers, the ... continue reading


Do black lives really matter in New York City? Maybe not to Planned Parenthood Watch

Image of [Photo by: Sri and Jana Photography, http://www.photosbysri.com/]

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In 2012, more black babies were killed by abortion in New York City than were born and the black children killed formed 42.2 percent of the total number of abortions in New York City, according to a report by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. ... continue reading


Gay baker stands up for Christian bakers punished for not making same-sex wedding cake Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christian bakers who refuse to make same-sex wedding cakes have been hit with harsh criticism from many people, especially those in the LGBT community. A gay baker and chef has come forward to back up the Christian bakers, explaining that those forcing them to make ... continue reading


'You won't destroy their spirit': Christian couple weds in ISIS bombed church Watch

Image of Couple weds despite their church being in ruins.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

ISIS militants blew up a Christian church, leaving it in ruins, but the spirit of Christianity and love among the people within its community continued to prevail. A young couple wed in the rubble and the celebration of the sacred union was full of brightness and ... 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, Exodus 32:15-24, 30-34
15 Moses turned and came down the mountain with the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 106:19-20, 21-22, 23
19 At Horeb they made a calf, bowed low before cast ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:31-35
31 He put another parable before them, 'The kingdom ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 27th, 2015 Image

St. Pantaleon
July 27: St Pantaleon came from Nicomedia, near the Black Sea, in Asia. ... 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