By Samantha Lund, Guest Writer
First-year Jordan Lee left for the ice skating Pacific Coast Sectionals in Oakland, Calif. Wednesday to compete for a chance to go to nationals. The sectionals are her biggest competition yet. The two-time gold medalist has had to overcome many obstacles and is now seeing her dreams come true in her skating.
Despite a broken ankle and now an inflamed foot — which she has almost fully recovered from — Lee said she does not plan on quitting competing any time soon. Lee had been out of competitive ice skating since May. In her first competition back on the ice in August, she qualified for sectionals. Lee said she was surprised and did not expect to do so well.
Two years ago, Lee sustained an ankle injury that threatened to take her out of her sport forever. Without surgery, it was unlikely that Lee would get to be a competitive ice skater. Lee said that after many tears and discussions, she could not give up ice skating, and so she underwent surgery for her broken ankle.
While out due to her injuries, Lee said she had a hard time staying away from the ice. She continued to go to the rink to help inspire other skaters. Lee said some have told her she was an inspiration to many.
Lee trains at the Sprinker Recreation Center at least two hours a day if she can fit it in with her busy schedule. She often skates in the morning, goes to class, and then returns home to pick up her younger sister — also a skater — and take her to skating practice as well.
Lee’s passion is ice skating and it is something she works her life around. “It’s the best part of my day,” Lee said. “I love the feeling of it.”
Lee said she hopes to major in kinesiology and help athletes avoid injuries in the future. Lee plans on coaching at Sprinker after Pacific Lutheran University and then hopes to go to graduate school. The skater is currently on a full-ride scholarship at PLU.
For 10 years, Lee said her mother, who raised her and her sister alone, has supported the ice skating costs by working full time.
“She’s been to all of my competitions,” Lee said, “but this time [for sectionals] I’m just traveling with my coach.”
Now that her dreams of going to sectionals are coming true, Lee has another obstacle to overcome: the cost. Flying to California and paying for ice time and coaching expenses is costly, and Lee has started her own fundraiser to help make her dream come true.
The first time sectionals competitor said she wants to use this first year to learn and get experience. Next year, Lee said she hopes to place in the top eight. The top four go on to nationals.
Lee said she is accepting any donations, big or small, to help pay for her trip to sectionals. The fundraiser is ongoing, even after her trip ends Nov. 23, in the hopes to get all expenses paid for. To donate, e-mail Lee at leeji