Wellman brings full package to Kansas City

Photo Credit: Pro Event Photo

Alex Wellman comes from a town in Illinois about halfway between Chicago and St. Louis.  While many might think that central Illinois wouldn’t be a hot spot for figure skating, several top skaters have come out of this area, including reigning US Ladies Champ Gracie Gold.  This high school student is making a name for himself on the national figure skating scene with his third trip to U.S. Nationals.  He is the reigning Intermediate Silver Medalist and will be competing as a novice for the first time in his career.  He took home the bronze at Upper Great Lakes Regionals but won gold at Midwestern Sectionals to earn his spot in Kansas City.

He already has one of the highest jump base values in the novice men’s competition along with some of the highest program component scores.  With a few updates to his program content and the ability to take advantage of the one point bonus offered to novices for triple + triple combinations and a variety of triple jumps, this is definitely one skater to watch for the medal stand.

How did you get involved with skating?

Before I started skating, I tried every other sport in my city.  After not enjoying any of them, my parents saw an advertisement in the newspaper for Learn to Skate and signed me up.  I loved skating from the first class I took at age 8.

How would you describe yourself as a skater?

I would like to think of myself as an all around skater.  I started skating loving the technical aspects, but I have learned to love the artistic side as well.

Tell me about yourself outside of skating.

Outside of skating, I enjoy hanging out with friends and traveling.  I’m in 11th grade at Bloomington High School with some of my course load online.  When I can, I love trying new foods and experiencing new places.

Photo Credit: Pro Event Photo

Tell me about your programs this season.

My programs this season, I think, embody my skating styles while challenging me artistically and technically.  My short program music to Schindler’s List emphasizes my skating style, making it more comfortable to complete my difficult elements. My long program to Les Misérables is challenging technically and artistically but I have grown to love it.

What is the most difficult element for you in your programs? 

My most difficult element in both of my programs is my triple Lutz + triple toe combination.

What is your favorite element to complete?

My favorite element is the triple lutz.

You’ve talked about the mental block that you faced in developing the triple jumps.  Now your program includes the most difficult triples including the lutz and the flip.  How did you make that breakthrough?

Once I started with an off-ice trainer my strength began to improve.  With the new strength I was able to have more speed and height going into the jump which improved my confidence.  My coach and I reworked my arm technique to improve rotational speed which also helped.

As part of your off-ice training, you take dance lessons.  What has that brought to your skating?

I think it has brought an elegance and ease to my skating.  The lessons have helped me understand how to embody the music and perform it, instead of just skating to it.

You took home the silver medal as an intermediate last season. What did that experience teach you?

That experience taught me to be mentally tough.  I felt my jumps were shaky.  While at the competition, I decided that it wasn’t worth fighting myself, and I let the jumps happen.  Nationals also taught me to never give up in the program; fight for every point and skate until the final note of music.

One of the young skaters at your club has listed you as her favorite skater. What does it mean to you to be a role model for local skaters?

It means a lot.  To me, being their role model is a great way to help everyone at the rink.  Being a role model to them is an honor.

Photo Credit: Pro Event Photo

Have you made any changes to your programs for nationals?

Yes. My program now includes a triple + triple in both the long and short programs.  I also added a triple flip-double toe-double axel combination.

What are your goals for nationals? For next season?

I want to podium and would love to win.  For next season I would love to be placed on the International Selection Pool and start the next phase in my skating career.  Maybe even represent the USA at a competition, who knows.

Is there anything else you want people to know? 

I want people to know I love skating and will not give up until I reach my goals!

Comments

  1. Connie Rapp says:

    Alex you probable don’t remember me, but I was one of your fourth grade teachers and I remember you. I wish you the best in our skating. So proud of what you have done- keep it up and I know you will be successful!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Alex Wellman Age: 16; 1/26/00 Club: Central Illinois FSC Training Town: Bloomington, IL Coach/Choreographer: Madalyn Brook SP: Music from Schindler’s Listby John Williams, performed by Ithzak Perlman FS: Music from Les Miserables by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Miss Saigon He is the U.S. Intermediate silver medalist. [Link to his Ice Musings blog interview] […]