Living the life out on the ice


Rebekah Spector

Tateel was inpired by the Winter OlymInpics and now has been skating for almost two years.

Maia Hito

Ice skating, arguably one of the more challenging sports, is no problem for sophomore Hannah Tateel as she glides effortlessly across the smooth subzero surface of the ice rink.

“I like to skate with friends and watch other people and experience,” Tateel said.

Tateel has been an ice skater for almost two years, dabbling in solo competitions since this April. While ice skating didn’t originally click at first, after watching skaters in the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tateel decided to give it another shot. Since then, she has been fully committed to the sport, not stepping off the ice for more than a span of two days.

She has leaped from beginner group classes to training with a private coach, starting from zero advancing seven levels in such a short span of time. Currently, aside from practicing on her own time, Tateel has 30 minute sessions with her coach on Mondays.

Despite having her hands full with various Advanced Placement and honors courses, such as honors English and AP World History, Tateel manages to juggle her school life while still committing to the sport she loves.

“I just go every day after school and  somehow can do homework and if I have too much homework, I don’t go or I leave early,” Tateel said.

All competitive ice skaters have their “home ice” where they occasionally perform and compete. For Tateel, hers is Iceland, an ice rink located in the city of Van Nuys. She engrosses herself in the open skating sessions they provide, not only honing her skills but preparing her routine for their upcoming annual holiday show “Disney Dreams,” being hosted on Dec. 13.

Tateel has excelled in her category, Freestyle 3, a more advanced category of skaters that participate in ice skating as a recreation or competitive sport. She has won multiple awards, including three first place ribbons and one third place.

“Winning the first place ribbons puts the frosting on the cake, however, win or lose, there is no way to describe the pure joy of watching Hannah compete at this level in such a brief period,” Tateel’s father, Jack Tateel, said.

With precise focus and unparalleled drive, Tateel is set on mastering her current element. Right now, her most advanced jump is the Lutz, and her most advanced spin is the Camel.

“Hannah is a perfectionist. When she takes on the task of learning a new move, she focuses on the new move like a laser and doesn’t let up until she has mastered it. One can’t help admiring that degree of dedication and focus,” Tateel’s father said.