Jiang tackles triple combinations, senior level

Nina Jiang is a 14 year old who represents the Texas Gulf Coast Figure Skating Club.  She represented the U.S. internationally in 2010 at JGP France, placing 5th.  She has won national titles at the Juvenile and Intermediate levels and is making her senior debut in San Jose.  She won bronze at the Southwestern Regionals and gold at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Jiang talked to me about competing at the senior level, new jumps and her goals for nationals.

Tell me about yourself outside of skating.
I play the piano every morning before I go skate. I love to read, go shopping, and hang out with friends.

How would you describe your skating to someone who had never seen you skate before?
I would describe my skating as serious, but captivating and nice to watch.
You competed as a junior the last two seasons at nationals and are making the jump to senior this year.  What challenges do you think that brings?  What opportunities?
I think that skating senior for the first time there isn’t much for me to lose and so much to gain from this season. It’s just a really great year, this year, for me to grow, get stronger, and to improve on what I’ve got.
You are one of the youngest skaters at the senior level and aren’t even old enough to compete internationally as a senior.  What made you decide to compete as a senior this season?
I think that it made me grow up a lot to be a senior. It really pushed me to be more mature in my skating and really motivated me to work harder to be competitive with the very best in the nation. It’s also good experience to be a senior and have that under my belt in the years leading up to the Olympics.
Are there any new technical elements that you’ve added for this season or anything in particular you’ve been focusing on?
This season I have added a triple lutz to the mix. I have also been working on triple-triple combinations and double axel + triple toe.  I have been really focusing on the component part of my skating as well.
What are your goals for nationals?  How do you hope nationals will set you up for your short term and long term goals as a skater?
My goal for nationals this year is to be in the top ten. I hope to be chosen for more international assignments in 2012 and long-term to make the 2014 Olympic team.
Is there anything else you want people to know?
I love dogs, especially pugs and that’s pretty much it!