Roseville Teen Nurturing Olympic Dream
Roseville, CA -- Even though the Winter Olympics are over, the dreams for Roseville resident Bella Martinez are very much alive.
They may not involve winning medals, but they are important and real none the less.
Martinez is a 19-year-old Sierra College student who began skating when she was 3. Today, "skating" doesn't quite describe it.
She is only the 30th person in the world to pass the Ice Skating Institute (I.S.I.) Freestyle 10 test, the most rigorous I.S.I. test.
"It had been my dream to pass Freestyle Ten once I was old enough to learn that that was the highest, most prestigious ISI test. I didn't just want to pass, I wanted to pass with flying colors," Bella says.
Bella's skating story started at age 2 when she would prance around the house, telling her parents she was going to be a figure skater when she grew up. Her parents would smile and pat her head, but they were proven wrong a year later.
At age 3, when she was vacationing with her family at Lake Tahoe, an excited Bella noticed the ice rink. She jumped up and down and asked her parents if she could skate. Unfortunately, it was not to be. The rink was closing for the night.
Luckily for Bella, an employee offered to put skates on her and bring her out on the ice with him while he brought the cones off the ice. Ten minutes later, he found Bella's parents and said, "Mom? Dad? You might want to come see this." Bella was skating, on her own.
Ever since then she has been in love with the ice and with skating itself.
Soon after, Bella started taking group lessons at Skatetown in Roseville. Not long after, she began private lessons. Eventually, Bella was skating for two hours before school and returning to the rink after school.
With dedication and hard work, she progressed rapidly under her coach, Jayne Throckmorton, herself a U.S. Figure Skating Association Gold Medalist and Master-Rated figure Skating Instructor.
Bella has been participating in competitions and winning awards for many years now. As a member of both ISI and USF., she competes now as a senior skater.
To achieve the I.S.I. Ten level, Bella had to perform a double axel-double toe combination jump, a triple edge jump, a death drop, and three butterflies in a row. She also had to create a difficult and intricate footwork sequence, as well as performing axels and double jumps in both directions.
"These moves are some of the hardest to perform because it requires a skater to do jumps in forward and reverse directions," Bella said.
The judges were impressed by her passion and enthusiasm in her performance, and she achieved her goal of passing the test with flying colors.
Although Bella has passed the highest level tests in ISI and competes as a Senior Lady for USFS, she has no plans to stop skating or competing. She is just as passionate about skating now as she was all those years ago. "As long as I can keep skating and competing I will be happy," she says.
She also dreams of continuing her education in Psychology at UC-Davis, hoping someday of becoming a child psychologist. She plans to "use her career to share her joy and love of life with hurting and abused children."
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