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

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