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Learning to love it on the ice

Young skater’s hard work turns into achievement

Courtesy photo
Sasha Lunin’s recent win in regional figure skating championships advances him to nationals in January.

– Sasha Lunin is honest about it. When he first tried figure skating – at age 4 – he didn’t like it.

It took some time in the stands, watching his mother, Alena, teaching other kids for him to catch the skating bug.

“It took some time. Then, when I really started watching the skaters when my mother was teaching them, I finally decided to do it,” Sasha said.

Now, Sasha, who works locally at Lutheran Health SportsCenter, is one of the best young skaters in the nation.

On Nov. 10, he took first in the juvenile boys event at the Midwestern Sectional Championships in Cleveland with a score of 45.69, which was 2.10 points more than the second-place finisher, Ryan Bedard.

“I’ve worked very hard this year,” he said. “Yes, it feels good. To have the highest score this season, then I deserve to go on because I did very, very well at that competition.”

Sasha, 12, has been skating tenaciously for six years.

His performance in Cleveland earned him a spot at the U.S. Figure Skating Nationals. He went there last year, too.

“I didn’t do that well,” he said. “So my parents made me work very, very hard to get to go next year. … We’ve all worked very hard together, and now I’m going to have more inspiration for the judges.”

Sasha said his first trip to nationals brought a lot of nervousness, which he expects to be better this time around – the event is Jan. 19-27 at Omaha, Neb.

The skating pair of Austin Hale and Alicia Bertsh, which is also based at Lutheran Health SportsCenter, will also compete.

As for what Sasha loves most about skating, he said, “Oh, all the jumps and spins.”

He’s honest about that, too.