It's been a long road for 2011 Canadian Junior Champion Roxanne Rheault. Illness and injury slowed her progress in competition, but an impressive fourth place finish on the senior level at this year's Canadian Championships in Kingston, Ontario proved without a doubt that she is in it to win it and back in top form. I think you're really going to like this interview. Roxanne was refreshingly candid about her journey so far, goals for the future, life off the ice and much more. If you're not a fan yet, I guarantee you that you will be when you finish reading:
Q: You've had a momentous career to date, winning national titles in Canada on both the juvenile and junior levels and earning your best finish on the senior level (fourth place) at this year's Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Kingston, Ontario. Of your accomplishments so far, what moments are you proudest of?
A: It always feels really good when you succeed because you know the hard work has paid off. The one that I'm the most proud of is probably this year. Considering the fact that it was a little difficult these past two years because of a mononucleosis and some toe and ankle injuries, I'm happy I have been able to come back stronger! The National Team has always been one of my dreams and now I can finally say that I am a part of it!
Q: You really upped the game technically this year, adding a triple/triple combination to your jump arsenal and going for the triple lutz and two triple flips in your free skate. What do you feel your strongest jumps are and on which have you been really hoping to improve?
A: My best jumps are the toe, the flip and the lutz. I'm working on my double axel/triple toe and triple toe/triple toe. It's getting better every day! What I improved the most this year is my consistency on all of my jumps and on my confidence. I'm still working on it with a mental trainer!
A: I think that we have a big and complete team with a lot of coaches that have their own speciality. Annie's team is recognized for the elegant and "polished" skaters but the most beautiful thing with this team is that we are basically like a family!
Q: What are your ultimate goals in skating and what are your focuses in training right now?
A: One of my goals is to be ready this summer and maybe get an international competition. I'm changing my short program and I would like to incorporate the triple lutz. Like I said, I'm working on my double axel/triple toe and triple toe/triple toe too.
Q: You've got a very elegant movement to your skating. Is dance something you'd ever pursue?
A: I have always been an artistic person that loves to dance on and off the ice. I planned to start doing ballet this year and if I had more time in my schedule I would like to do some other style of dance. If I wasn't a skater, I would probably be a dancer!
Q: On a stormy night, what book would you most like to be curled up reading and what would your midnight snack that went with it be?
A: I really like to read the same old book that makes me smile, dream and believe in my craziest dream over and over again. This book is "The Secret" and my snack would be slices of apple and hot chocolate.
From the vaults: Roxanne's winning performance on the juvenile level at Canadian Nationals in 2007
Q: Who are your three favourite skaters of all time and why?
A: My favourite skater has always been Cynthia Phaneuf. Whenever she was skating, either she was having a good performance or a bad one, she was always giving her 100% to make everyone believe the story she was trying to tell by her skating. She was like a model for me and I was lucky enough to have the chance to skate with her. When I was younger, I also really liked Sasha Cohen for her unique skills of arabesque. I'm not a flexible person so I always found her amazing! Finally, I really like Kaetlyn Osmond. I think she is dynamic, powerful and she always gives a show when she`s on the ice!
Q: What is one thing most people don't know about you?
A: I'm a comic, funny person but when I'm in front of people I don't know or in a public area, I become shy. But as soon as I'm comfortable, I start joking around and make everyone laugh. I think that's what I like the most in life: to make people laugh!
Q: What is the most important lesson skating has taught you?
A: Finally, the most important thing that skating has taught me is that if you believe you can do it, you will and if you do what you love in life with your heart, it always have better results.
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