（Contributed by Allie)
My Daughter, the International Figure Skater
My daughter with Miki Andō and Mao Asada in 2009
This week is a bittersweet time for me. When something is bittersweet, it is a positive situation for the most part; however, there is something about it that you will miss. That is what happened to me. My daughter, who is 18, quit figure skating this week. She is preparing to go to college in the fall and wants to focus on her studies.
She has been skating for 15 years. She started skating at the rink in the local mall. She moved up to skate and train with such greats as Michelle Kwan, Mirai Nagasu, and Evan Lysacek. When she was 13, she joined a renowned ice theatre group in Los Angeles. They were fortunate enough to compete all over the world, doing beautiful shows on the ice.
We also attended competitions in Paris and Spain. Many times at the competitions, my daughter’s team were judged the best team in the world! The costumes were elaborate with thousands of fashion design crystals—some even glued to their face. One competition in particular was great. They reenacted a scene from Avatar on the ice, complete with double Axels and layback spins. They were all painted blue from head to toe. (The hotel was not too happy when all of the shower towels were blue from the clean-up.)
My daughter is sad to leave skating, and I am sad too. I have met many skating moms over the years and will miss seeing them every day. We all promised to keep in touch on a social networking site, but it just won’t be the same. I guess I need to find a new hobby… Any ideas?