Jump, turn, glide, leap, spin- all on ice. To the average person these tasks seem difficult, but to twins Mia and Daisy Riley, it is second nature. The Riley twins, who are juniors, have been skating since they could walk. However, it was not until they turned 12 that they became seriously interested in the sport.
“We started taking lessons when we were 12 because it was around the time of the Winter Olympics. I thought it was really cool that figure skaters do jumps. Instead of just skating on the rink, I wanted to actually learn how to do tricks,” Daisy Riley said.
The Rileys are now part of the Excel competition team at The Skating Club of Boston, coached by Merita Mullen.
According to Mullen, Mia and Daisy Riley are a great addition to their figure skating team.
“When they first joined the team in 2016, they had to really skate up and match their skating levels to the team’s levels, which was a bit of a struggle for them at first, but eventually they blended in beautifully,” Mullen said.
Mullen says that the twins compliment each other and the whole team.
“I think they have brought a strong attitude to the team,” Mullen said. “I think they encourage their teammates, the people who skate next to them, to be their best. They bring their A-game to every practice.”
Although Mia and Daisy Riley make it look easy, the two say that figure skating can be hard.
“I feel like I have learned a lot from being challenged by figure skating, because even if you work really hard at something, you are not going to get it right away,” Daisy Riley said.
The girls see the importance in finding a strong balance between school and skating in their schedule.
“I try to move all my skating times to the weekend. After sophomore year I was like, ‘Wow I’m really stressed out!’ because I had skating Wednesday and Thursday nights. So I moved it to mornings, the weekends and Friday nights, so it could work with my school schedule and homework,” Mia Riley said.
Although the twins compete against each other, they have learned to not care about which one of them wins.
“One of us isn’t really better; we kind of switch off at different competitions, who places in front of the other, but we basically just try to beat the other people. With us we kind of have to say we don’t care about who ranks first because it’s going to be different next time,” Daisy Riley said.
The twins agree that one of their favorite parts of competition is the synchronized skating portion.
“I love synchronized skating because I get to be with the team and it is just so fun to me to have an individual sport that is also a team sport,” Mia Riley said.
The two feel that figure skating has also taught them a lot about life.
“Something that is really cool about ice skating is that everytime you fall, you have to get back up, and you fall so much in ice skating, which I think is different from a lot of sports that people do,” Mia Riley said. “I think that is really true for life in general.”
Daisy Riley said that figure skating is exhilarating.
“Something I like about skating itself is I like being able to go fast and I feel like it is the closest you can get to flying without actually having superpowers,” Daisy Riley said.