Saturday, October 30, 2010

Introducing Tessa Hedges

Hey, everyone! My name is Tessa Hedges, and I am a member of the Crystallettes senior team from Dearborn, Mich. I am from Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., and am a senior at Grosse Pointe South High School. I’m a math and science lover, and will hopefully end up in a field pertaining to these subjects. I am considering a number of majors but most closely neuroscience and engineering. My mind seems to change daily (I think I have put a different major on every college application), but hopefully I will make that decision within the year.

I began skating at five years old and joined my first synchro team (the Shoreliners from the St. Clair Shores Figure Skating Club) at age seven. I fell in love with the sport within the first two years. I attended my first nationals in 2003 in Huntsville, Ala., at age nine with Team Elan juvenile and have attended every nationals since. My most successful seasons include a junior national championship in 2007 with the Hockettes in Colorado Springs, and a silver medal and placement on the World Team with the Crystallettes in 2010. This will by my fourth season as a member of Team USA.

Undoubtedly, my favorite Team USA memory is performing at the 2010 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships in Colorado Springs. As I took the ice for the long program, I found myself on the edge of tears. Not only was I given the chance to represent the country in the most prestigious event of the sport, but I was also able to do so in front of a home crowd. The amount of cheering and support that came from the audience was unbelievable. When I stepped onto the ice for the long program, I felt the utmost pride for my team and my country. It was one of the most humbling experiences of my life.

Another passion of mine is photography and producing videos. I am notorious for throwing the camera in my team's face at all times, and I love making creations once the season is over. I have produced two video scrapbooks and one promotional video (search YouTube for "crystallettes promo" if you want to see it!). My room is covered in pictures. I guess you could say that it is my "hobby."

Although I do spend the majority of my time at the rink or studying, I am also involved in many charity organizations. I am a member of the National Honor Society and the Varsity Club at my high school, both of which are based on volunteer work. When I am not volunteering through my school, I work with my mother’s charity, called the GVM Foundation, that awards scholarships to promising high school girls living in the southwest part of Detroit.

My teammates are my best friends. I love spending time with them, on and off the ice. Along with my coaches, they motivate and encourage me every day, which is the reason I love this sport so much. Right now, the Crystallettes are practicing hard to prepare for the Kalamazoo Kick Off competition on Nov. 20. We had a great monitoring session last weekend and are excited to begin a new season!

A bit of random information about me:

Favorite sports team: Detroit Tigers
Favorite cities: Boston and Chicago
Top five most played songs on my iPod right now: Songs from Taylor Swift’s new album “Speak Now”
Favorite musician/band: Rascal Flatts
Favorite movie: The Notebook
Favorite books: Anything Nicholas Sparks or Jodi Picoult
Favorite TV show: Friends
Favorite magazines: SKATING (cliché, I know, but this is the only magazine that comes to my house)
Favorite place I’ve traveled for skating: Colorado Springs (hands down the most beautiful state I have ever seen)
Favorite quote: “Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds.” US Navy Seals

Monday, October 25, 2010

2010-11 DREAM Program Members

U.S. Figure Skating is pleased to announce the members of the 2010-11 DREAM Program:

Athlete (Hometown) - Team

Sarah Arnold (Glendale, Wis.) - Miami University
Lauren Bracken (Valley Center, Calif.) - Miami University
Tessa Hedges (Grosse Point Farms, Mich.) - Crystallettes
Bianca Jackson (Glencoe, Ill.) - Starlights
Jenna Longo (Farmington, Conn.) - Haydenettes
Audrey McQuade (North White Plains, N.Y.) - Skyliners
Ashley Mulhern (New Canaan, Conn.) - Skyliners
Noelle Pearson (Eden Prairie, Minn.) - Haydenettes
Taylor Walker (Olive Orange, Calif.) - Miami University
Annaleigh Yahata (Yorba Linda, Calif.) - California Gold

Please visit the Official DREAM Program Page for complete bios of all DREAM Program Athletes.


Welcome to the Official Blog of U.S. Figure Skating's DREAM Program!

Check back here throughout the season for updates on your favorite Team USA synchronized skating teams directly from the DREAM program skaters.

For more information on the DREAM Program and its members, please visit the Official DREAM Program page.