Thursday, November 11, 2010

Introducing Audrey McQuade

Hi! My name is Audrey McQuade, and I am a member of the Skyliners junior team. I am a senior at Valhalla High School. I enjoy school, and I know I definitely want to go to college next fall, but I do not know where I want to go or what I want to study.

I started skating at the age of 5 and joined the Skyliners when I was 9. During my first skating lesson my coach told me, "The ice is your friend. Don't be afraid to fall on him. He will always catch you." To this day, that is the most useful thing I have ever learned from a coach. Whenever I am nervous to try something new on the ice, I hear her voice in my head, and I remember that it's okay to fall because the ice is my friend and he will always catch me.

Before I joined Skyliners, I dreaded competing. It was intimidating getting on the ice all alone, with the judges outnumbering me three or four to one! Stepping onto the ice at my first synchro competition, I felt confident. It was comforting being surrounded by my teammates and best friends. That's when I realized how fun and exhilarating competitions could be, and how much more I preferred team skating.

My favorite Team USA memory happened at my first international competition in Zagreb, Croatia. The competitors' hotel was within walking distance from the arena. To get to the competition, all we had to do was walk across the courtyard. On our way to compete the short program, a little boy ran up to me and asked, "Where are you from?" In response I waved the mini-American Flag I was holding in my hand. When he saw this and recognized the flag, he started chanting, "USA! USA!" in an accent influenced by his native tongue. Feelings of excitement and pride overwhelmed me. I love having the privilege to wave red, white and blue. They are powerful colors.

When I am not on the ice, I am usually doing homework or hanging out with my two younger sisters. They can make me laugh until my stomach cramps and tears stain my cheeks. Once a month, the three of us, along with my mom, deliver groceries to underprivileged people in our area. We have fun driving all around town and annoying my mom with loud music and dancing in the car. Also, it always feels good to help people. I do not really follow any professional sports, but I love going to my sisters' volleyball, basketball and softball games and watching them play. I have never been involved with sports teams at school, so I participate vicariously through them.

Here are some of my favorites. . .

Favorite Sports Figure: Herb Brooks
Favorite City: New York
Favorite Movie: Forrest Gump
Favorite Book: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Favorite TV Show: Law and Order: SVU
Favorite Vacation Spot: Wildwood, N.J.
Favorite Food: Nutella
Favorite Place I've Traveled for Skating: Zagreb, Croatia

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