Golden Skate

Louann Donovan: Interview

Louann Donovan is a 15-year-old USFSA Senior lady figure skater who began skating at the age of 6.

Louann Donovan is a 15-year-old USFSA Senior lady figure skater who began skating at the age of 6. She was on an all boys hockey team in East Boston, MA and after watching Nancy Kerrigan’s performance at the 1992 Olympics, decided that she wanted to take figure skating lessons.

Donovan then enrolled in the Stoneham Figure Skating Club’s “Learn to Skate” program and at 9 years of age, she joined the Skating Club of Boston. Since then, Donovan has had great success and credits both her parents and coaches Mary & Evy Scotvold. Mrs. Donovan commutes Louann 160 miles a day five days a week to train for three hours at the Tony Kent Arena.

Donovan lives at home so she can attend high school. She attends high school from 8am to noon and has made the Deans List since the 9th grade. Donovan enjoys the Survivor TV series and can’t wait for the new season of Friends to be aired on September 26th (her birthday). Her hobbies include reading, shopping, going to the movies, and hanging out with her friends. She is currently training very hard for the up-coming season. Her ultimate goals and hopes are to represent the United States in World, Olympic, and International events/competitions in the future.

Andrew: Congrats on winning the U.S. Nationals Junior title!! What are your goals for the next season? What are you working on to improve your skating as you move into the senior ranks?

Louann: Thank you, Andrew. My goals for this year are to medal at both of my JGP’s, and make the JGP final then place in the top 6 at Nationals. I am working on everything that I have to so I can become as good as I can.

Paula: Can you share with us any information on your new programs for this upcoming season?

Louann: Yes I can. My short program is called The Given by Michael Smith. My long program is Capriccio Espagnol by Rimsky-Korsakov.

Kelly: How is your summer training going and what jump’s are you working on?

Louann: My summer training has been going very well. I am a senior lady this year and I need to have 7 triples with a triple/triple in my long program. I have been landing my triple toe/ triple toe consistently and have been landing the triple-sal/ triple loop 70/30 and triple loop/triple loop 30/70.

Paula: You seem to have quite a following for a junior lady. Do your fans motivate you to work harder on your programs?

Louann: Yes, it does motivate me and I always have been very self-motivated. I always work hard when I train and do my programs. Its so nice to have fans that are supporting me all the way!

Paula: Are you nervous about the JPG event in Canada scheduled in September? What other competitions do you tentatively plan to compete in this season?

Louann: I’m not nervous for the JGP in Canada. I know that I will do well because I am very confident with my skating. I also have a JGP in Italy in October.

Jessica: What do you usually eat every day to stay healthy for skating?

Louann: I eat foods high in protein and stay away from to many carbs. I eat lots of veggies and fruits and my favorite is steaks, ribs and chicken. Once in awhile, I will have fudgesickles for desert.

Paula: What are your goals for the future in regards to skating?

Louann: I don’t think it has changed over the last 3 years. I want to win every competition I skate in. As for the future re: skating, I want to be on a World Team, win a National title, and compete at the 2006 Olympics. :-)!

Paula: Looking back at your competitive history thus far, which competition was the most memorable and why?

Louann: Definitely 2002 Nationals! It was the perfect competition. I skated two clean programs and won the Junior National Title. Standing on the podium was awesome with everyone cheering and clapping for me.

Paula: During your competitive career in the past, what was your most embarrassing moment or occurrence? Is there anything you can share with the public that we don’t know already?

Louann: Well it wasn’t that bad but it was embarrassing. I skated in the two Boston shows of Champions on Ice this year and after my first performance I skated to the wrong end of the ice to get off so I had to duck and skate below the boards in the dark to find the exit door were everyone was laughing. They told me everyone does that?

Angie: I’m just curious: Why did you choose the music “Sleeping Beauty” for one of your past programs?

Louann: Well that was easy because my coaches wanted me to use my old long program again and I did not want to. It would have been 4 years with the same program and I wanted a new program. So we went to see Sleeping Beauty and we loved the music. That year, Nationals was in Boston and we saw Angela [Nikodinov] skate to it. I fell in love with how beautiful Angela skated to it and decided to skate to it my last year as a Junior. It worked and I won Junior ladies with it.

Paula: What do you feel are your strengths in skating?

Louann: I feel that the height and consistency of my jumps is one of my strengths along with my spins.

Paula: What areas do you feel could be improved in?

Louann: I feel that my artistry and stroking has improved but I need to work harder on them to be competitive.

Paula: What kinds of off-ice training do you do and how often? Do you take ballet or Pilates?

Louann: I train two days a week at the gym with my trained Jeff, one day a week at Pilates, and one day a week at yoga. I did take ballet last year for my Sleeping Beauty program but have not started this year yet.

Anonymous: How long did it take for you to get all your doubles?

Louann: Two years for all my doubles including the double axle.

Paula: What is your favorite jump to perform and which do you feel is the most difficult?

Louann: My favorite jump right now is my triple toe/ triple toe. I think when you just learn a new jump and then start landing it all the time you love that feeling of accomplishment. That’s how I feel about my toe-toe. As for the most difficult to perform, it is the triple flip.

Christina: What is the longest time you have ever taken off from skating?

Louann: This is sad, but only a week at a time three times a year – never in a row.

Paula: Are you currently working on any new moves or material?

Louann: I am currently working on the triple loop/triple loop combination and triple sal/triple loop combination. I know everyone is going to say not the triple loop/triple loop combo. I will be careful.

Paula: Is there any particular piece of music that you would like to skate to that you haven’t had the opportunity to do so? Can you elaborate?

Louann: Yes. I would have loved to skate to Salome – the one Michelle Kwan skated to. I love that music but now that I’m a senior lady I don’t think I would skate to it.

Paula: Is there any particular music you absolutely refuse to skate to and if so, why?

Louann: Not really like I said before as long as I love the music I will skate to it.

Nicole: How many skating dresses do you have?

Louann: I have three competition dresses and five practice dresses, but when I skate at my rink I wear pants and a shirt.

Paula: What would you describe to be the most definitive moment in the history of women’s figure skating and why?

Louann: This is a hard question for me because I am so young and the three Olympics I have watched, I thought each one was better than the next. So I would have to say this year’s Olympics was the best for me when everyone counted out Sarah [Hughes] and she came back to win the Gold.

Phoebe: Who is your inspiration, on and off ice? Which skaters do you look up to and why?

Louann: Off ice it would have to be all the brave NYC Policemen, Firemen and Volunteers. Sports, I would have to say it would be Tiger Woods – he never give’s up and he fights to the end to win. I look up to Michelle Kwan because of her love of the sport and her determination.

Paula: You have said that one of your favorite songs are by Led Zeppelin and that you enjoy Rock and Roll. How did you become so familiar with classic rock at such a young age?

Louann: Well, when I skated in Boston, my Dad would always pick me up from school and drive me to the rink so he used to listen to Zep, Hendrick’s, Tull, Aerosmith, Beatles all the 70’s rock. Now when he drive’s me to the rink, we listen to my music Nelly, Puffy, DTP all the hip hop stuff. He like’s that too! LOL!

Mike: What is your favorite thing to do when you get home from skating?

Louann: This is my favorite question. I love to just sit down and watch Friends on TV and relax.

Paula: What was your favorite movie this year and why?

Louann: I think it was Austin Powers Goldmember because it was so funny.

Paula: Are there any plans to attend college in the future? If so, what would you like to major in?

Louann: I definitely want to go to college but I am concentrating on 2006. I don’t know what I want to major in but something sports-related or media.

Paula: In the pro circuit, who do you admire the most in each discipline and why?

Louann: I love Kurt Browning because he has a great attitude and he is a pleasure to watch. Kristi Yamaguchi because she is a beautiful skater and she just flows over the ice into great jumps. Pairs would be Elena Leonova & Andrei and for Dance, Maya Usova & Evgeny Platov.

Paula: Is there anything you’d like to add or to say to your fans?

Louann: I would like to thank them and let them know that I appreciate all of their support and encouragement. — Louann Donovan