Grade 11 student and Barrie resident, Katia Fedyushchenko is a nationally ranked figure skater who competes in the Junior Dance event. Her love of the sport means early mornings and late nights, but she still finds balance thanks to CDS’ High Performance Phys-Ed program.
Originally from Moscow, Russia, Katia knew she wanted to figure skate at a very young age. She initially saw it on television and told her mother that this is what she wanted to do. Katia was soon placed in a figure skating club and started her career, but this was no ordinary club. She started at CSKA (Central Sport Club of the Army) Moscow, formerly the Red Army Athletic Club of the old Soviet Union, which is now more popular for their professional soccer and ice hockey teams.
Katia competes in ice dancing. This type of figure skating is similar to pairs but without jumps and focuses more on lifts and performing. Pair skating focuses more on athleticism, while ice dancing focuses more on the artistic elements of the performance.
She trained in Russia for two full years before her family decided to relocate to Canada, but that didn’t mean her training in Russia finished. For half the year she trained at CSKA Moscow, but the other half was spent at the Mariposa School of Skating in Barrie, Ontario. Katia continued doing this until she was 10, when she decided to train entirely in Canada.
The two locations had very different training methods. Katia found the CSKA methods intense, “In Russia, they have a lot of amazing young kids, but they are trained so intensely that by the age of 15, they are too injured to compete any longer. In Canada, they take longer to develop the child, but in the long run, it’s beneficial. Canadian figure skating is where it’s at right now.”
Katia is as committed as ever to her figure skating, and that is evident in her training schedule. Every morning she is on the ice for three hours before school and once class is out, she heads to the gym for a workout. The weekends do not get any easier as she can have ballroom dancing, stretch classes or lift classes. Summers are tough as well. No school means that Katia spends four and a half hours on the ice every day, followed by at least another three off of it.
The High Performance Phys-Ed program helps balance Katia’s life by offering a spare to students who train for more than 12 hours a week outside of school. She explains, “I have to miss first period because of training, so that helps me miss as little class as possible.”
Katia has already been extremely successful in her young career. She has visited nationals on three separate occasions, and most recently placed 7th with her previous partner Kaelan Dunker.
There is an upcoming challenge on her hands, as she is switching partners to Lucas Kitteridge. It’s a big change in a skater’s life, “It’s a hard switch to make because you become close with your partner, you spend more time with them then you do your own family, you get to know them well and become close with that person. It’s always difficult to switch partners, but at the same time, it’s exciting to learn new things from a different person.”
Katia plans to graduate next year and attend university, but she is unsure about where that will be. All she knows is that she wants to continue skating and achieve her ultimate goal of skating in the Olympics.
We wish her the very best, and look forward to seeing her progress in her final year at CDS.