Vinci aims for clean skate, international assignments in San Jose

Vinci is 3rd from the left holding her gold medal from Eastern Sectionals.

Madison Vinci is a 15 year old who represents the Washington Figure Skating Club and trains in Virginia.  She won the bronze medal last season at the intermediate level and will be debuting as a novice in San Jose.  She won silver at South Atlantic Regionals and gold at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

She talked to me about winning her first national medal, competing against her training mate and which junior lady she is looking forward to seeing at nationals.

Tell me about yourself outside of skating.
I like to hang out with friends, shop and read.

You won the Intermediate Ladies Short Program last season at Junior Nationals and went on to win the bronze medal.  What did you learn from that experience?
I learned how to handle pressure better, keep a cool head and perform my programs to the best of my ability, taking the elements one at a time.

Are there any new technical elements that you’ve added for this season or anything in particular you’ve been focusing on for nationals?
I have four triples in my long program this season and I have been focusing on doing clean programs in practice.

The novice ladies at nationals range in age from 12-15 years old.  As one of the older skaters, do you think that gives you an advantage?

I guess I might have a slightly more mature skating style due to my age, but I think that figure skating is more based on skill level rather than age.

After competing at Junior Nationals last season, how do you think nationals will be different?
Well I know that nationals is being held in a much larger arena this year, which I’m really excited about because I’ve never skated in such a large rink before. I’m also extremely excited to be able to see all the skaters I’ve watched on TV for years live and in person.

Brianna Laxson also competed for the Washington Figure Skating Club.  What advantages are there to having someone from your club competing at nationals at the same level?
Brianna and I train together every day, so we’ve gotten to be very close friends. Since we’re at the same level, of course we’re competitive but I think that has made us both push ourselves to be the best we can be. I’m so excited that we’ll both be at nationals because I have someone to cheer for and watch the other events with.

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?
At nationals, my main goal is to skate clean. I hope that I will do well enough to be considered for some international events. My long term goals for skating are to continue to be a successful skater at the junior and senior levels and to get to compete at the world championships, and maybe even the Olympics!

Are there any skaters you look up to that you’re looking forward to seeing at nationals?  What about those skaters do you hope to emulate?

I’m really looking forward to seeing all the junior ladies compete, especially Gracie Gold, who I’m a huge fan of. I really admire her jumps and I hope that my triples will look like hers in the future.