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Grace on Ice

Grace on Ice

By Tina Vossugh

Photo courtesy U.S. Figure Skating
We’re rooting for Polina Edmunds ’20 in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. 

Polina Edmunds ’20 doesn’t just have her Christmas list ready. She’s made her New Year’s resolutions, too. Topping that list: skating well at nationals after a year long hiatus due to injury.

The 2014 Olympian returns to the ice December 29 for the 2018 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships. The 11-day event will be held minutes from Santa Clara University at the SAP Center in San Jose, California.

“I will feel very proud to represent the Bay Area when I step onto the ice in San Jose,” Edmunds says. “It’s so special having my family, friends, and schoolmates come watch me in person. Everyone is very stoked to cheer me on.”

We’ll second that emotion.

The past year has been tough for Edmunds, as she recovered from a bone bruise on the navicular bone of her right foot that kept her from fully training for an entire year. Returning to top form has been difficult with limited training time, which has forced her to train smarter. Edmunds says she’s using a different approach now, limiting repetitive moves so as not to re-injure herself.

No matter what happens with her skating in the competition, she says, she is thrilled that she’s got everything back—and that her skating has improved.

Edmunds shows true poise on the ice. And she balances skating with studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. A communication major, she attends classes in the mornings and trains for the rest of the day.

Edmunds is a Santa Clara native, too. She works with Coach Christy Ness as well as her mother, Nina, a former figure skater from Russia. Nina paved the path for Polina’s skating career by putting her on the ice early on: Polina’s earliest memory is skating at age 3 or 4 clad in a pink dress.

“It's the best having my mom as my coach because she always knows how hard to push me and what I need to do,” Polina says. “She’s my number one fan.”

Edmunds was only 15 years old when she made her Olympic debut at the Sochi Games, placing ninth overall with a total score of 183.25. Nearly four years later, Edmunds is a skating veteran at 19 and she has a mature perspective on the upcoming competition.

“My goals are more centered around me performing well for myself, because I have already made an Olympic Team,” Edmunds says. “I will remain an Olympian for the rest of my life.”

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