After medalling on the novice level nationally at the 2009 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Angela Wang has slowly climbed the ranks in U.S. ladies skating and made quite the impression along the way. During the 2012/2013 season, she won the Junior Grand Prix event in Croatia and finished third at the U.S. Junior Grand Prix event, qualifying her for the Junior Grand Prix Final that season where she placed a very strong fourth place. She has twice finished in the top ten on the senior level at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and her consistent jumps coupled with a wonderful sense of musicality have really made her the kind of skater you can't help but pay close attention to. Angela took the time to speak with me in July about her competitive career to date, new programs for the upcoming season, Chinese heritage, love of animals and much more in this wonderful interview:
Q: What I've noticed about your skating career so far hasn't just been your success to date. Medals in international competitions on the Junior Grand Prix are extremely impressive but in your case I don't think they tell the story. If you look at your performances at U.S. Nationals over the last few years, you really got to see such an elegant, mature performer out there. What are your proudest accomplishments to date - the performances that stand out as the most special in your mind?
A: I think the most memorable performance for me so far in my career would have to be my long program the first year I competed senior at the U.S. Championships. I felt very comfortable on the ice and was just excited to be making my senior debut, and I think that led me to put out a solid performance.
Q: You've actually competed on the juvenile, intermediate, novice and junior levels at Nationals before moving up to compete on the senior level at U.S. Nationals during the 2011/2012 season. That's QUITE an accomplishment. Was growing up in front of judges and audiences from such a young age something that was always easy or did it have its ups and downs?
A: It certainly had its ups and downs. I've always loved performing for other people, so it came more naturally to me, but it definitely was not always easy. I was lucky to have a great group of people help me through the process.
Q: Last season you ended up falling out of the top ten at Nationals, which I don't think is any indication of your talent. What is your plan for next season in terms of coming back fighting and how have things been going in training?
A: First of all, thank you. Last season was definitely rough for me, but I do believe it was a valuable one in terms of growing and maturing. I am extremely excited about this upcoming season; I've got a great team supporting me and I am so grateful for that. Training has been going very well. I can’t wait for the season to start!
Q: What can you share about the programs you'll be skating next season and the choreography process?
A: I am absolutely thrilled with both of my programs this year. Rachael Flatt choreographed my short program to "Paint It Black". It's a different style for me; it’s sharper and edgier than what I’m used to performing, but I’m so excited about it. Tom Dickson choreographed my long. I’m looking forward to performing both of my programs this season.
Q: You work with some of the very best in the business - Christy Krall, Damon Allen, Tom Dickson, Catarina Lindgren, Janet Champion. What have your coaches and choreographers taught you on the ice that has helped you as a person off of the ice?
A: My coaching team is absolutely phenomenal. They've taught me so much about myself and have helped mold me into the person I am today. I cannot thank them enough for that. I think the most important thing I've learned from these past few years working with them is that skating is just skating. No matter what happens, life goes on. Go into everything fully determined so that you can walk out with a smile on your face, knowing you did everything possible to have the outcome your desire.
Q: Your parents moved to the U.S. from China two years before you were born. How significant is Chinese culture in your life and is China a place you could ever see yourself living or spending any amount of time?
A: The Chinese culture certainly played a role in how I was raised. My parents and I recognize and acknowledge the big Chinese holidays and special occasions by making a Skype call to my relatives who still live there, but we don't habitually have a celebration ourselves. I would love to spend time in China someday. There is such a rich history and culture and I think it would be fascinating to learn more about the place my family is from.
Q: What movie do you think you've watched the most times? What about a song or piece of music you've had on repeat more than once?
A: I don’t watch a lot of movies, but I have seen Mean Girls more times than I can count. It’s such a funny and quotable movie! As for music, I have to admit that I have a slight obsession with Ed Sheeran. His voice is absolutely incredible - and on top of that, he’s got a great personality as well. I'm so in love with his new album! I can guarantee you it will be on repeat for the next few months.
Q: Who are your three favourite skaters of all time and why?
A: Michelle Kwan, Yuna Kim and Meryl and Charlie. Need I explain why?
Q: What's one thing about you most people don't know?
A: I love, love, love animals, especially dogs. I will literally stop mid-conversation to walk over and pet a stranger's dog.
Q: What do you love more than anything about figure skating?
A: I love the feeling of gliding across the ice. There’s so much freedom, yet you’re in total control.
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