We caught up with Kimmie Meissner to see how this energetic young woman is balancing college, working at a physical therapy office and training for the sport that stole her heart as a little girl.
Kimmie started skating when she was six years old. A freak blizzard inspired her older brothers to grab their hockey skates. Kimmie joined them and it was at this moment skating captured Kimmie’s heart.
That childhood passion turned into quite a career. After winning a silver medal at the 2006 United States Figure Skating Championships-16 year old Kimmie Kimmie was named the youngest American athlete to compete at the Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy.
Kimmie is the first American and the first female figure skater to hold the World, Four Continents and National titles all at the same time. Another amazing accomplishment Kimmie is the 2nd American woman to land a triple axel since Tonya Harding in 1991.
But it was the triple axel move that Kimmie’s skating career on the shelf. “I was on the ice with a few younger skaters. When I was going up to do my jump and there was a little girl kind of girl skated right near when I was going to land so I bailed out of my jump which is like rule number one do not bail out of jumps but if I went through with it-I would have landed on her and that would have been bad. I came down and hit my knee on ice and dislocated my knee cap and got severe patellar tendonitis and I didn’t say anything about it to anyone for a while because I’m a skater and I get hurt all the time and have aches and pains so I figured it would go away and I kept jumping and training like I was going to competitions and it kept getting worse and worse until finally I said I have a little knee problem-I can’t walk down the stairs. I’m painfree now –it just took a long time to get better and I was off ice for a really long time. I just got back ice in January and I was off the ice since October…so long time away from it.”
The right knee injury may have ended Kimmie’s dream of competing in the 2010 Olympics putting her at sort of a crossroads in her life but once she got the thumbs from her doctors-Kimmie started an intense training schedule. She works out on the ice almost every day. Coach Chris Conte has been working with her in rebuilding her jumping technique to be more efficient, adding rotation to her takeoffs and more stability to her landings.
And through all her challenges-you cannot help but admire Kimmie for staying positive and setting new goals for her life.
“The one thing that my parents always told me and I’ve always kept up with my education b/c they’ve always said eventually you’re going to have to go out into the real world and have a real life aside from skating. Skating will always be part of my life no matter.”
Kimmie is currently attending University of Delaware majoring in exercise science. Her career goal is to be a physical therapist.