BY REBECCA OLIVEIRA & STEFANY FOLEY

It's that time of year again, and the winter sports are back and better than ever! Figure skating has started and has gone off with a boom. The Malden High School figure skating team has already competed in two competitions this year and has two more coming up.

In October, the team competed in Stoneham against the different New England high school league figure skating teams. Despite junior Alyssa Ardai and senior Allyson Kummins being the only two members on Malden’s team, they both won medals and placed second in their free skate programs.

Ardai and Kummins had their second competition in November. MHS math teacher and coach Elizabeth Gibbons commented how “[Kummins and Ardai] skated clean programs; it was even better than the October competition,” where Ardai and Kummins won their team maneuver event. Both girls have been figure skating since they were young children, encouraged by their mothers to give the sport a chance.

Kummins admits that at first she didn’t really want to participate in figure skating in kindergarten, but her mother signed her up for it anyway, and she’s glad that she gave it a chance because “it’s just been the constant in [her] whole life.”

When asked about her favorite thing about figure skating, Kummins explained that ”it’s definitely a stress reliever for [her], especially this year with all the college stuff and AP’s, and it’s like [she] forgets all about that and fall into the music.”

Ardai explained how her mother signed her up for ice skating when she was four years old, because her mother used to ice skate for fun when she was a kid, thinking that she would enjoy it as well. With a fond smile, Ardai says that she’s glad that she stuck with it because she’s “still in it today.”

The figure skating team is currently preparing for an upcoming competition in January in Gloucester. Ardai and Kummins’ last competition for the year will be in April.

Gibbons noted that currently Ardai and Kummins are preparing for the competitions by taking lessons at community programs, where “they work on their jumps and spins,” in order to be able to score better.

Gibbons explained about her hopes for the upcoming competitions saying how “[she would] like to see [Ardai and Kummins] skating more powerfully and really interpreting the music that they have chosen.”

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