|Talking with Timmy and Juju|
Are they excited? Definitely. “Our goal was to get there. It’s such an honor just to go,” said Timmy. “Any medal would be amazing!” Juju agreed with a nod and a laugh. “It’s so exciting.”
|Ready to skate.|
Their success is especially rewarding because they only started skating together in August. Timmy had skated pairs before with a different partner, but pairs was new to Juju. Fortunately, unlike my characters Jamie and Matt, Timmy and Juju liked each other right away and love skating together, as you can see by their smiles.
“I like working with someone,” said Juju. “It’s fun to work on unison in skating, and I work out more since we’re doing it together.”
“Juju’s fun to skate with,” added Timmy, “and she gets me to work harder, which is good.” Timmy also likes all the people they meet and the chance to travel.
Both Timmy and Juju have been skating for a while and both also compete in singles. Timmy’s first sport was swimming, but with his mom, B-J Shue-Chapman, a coach at the RDV Sportsplex Ice Den in Orlando, he couldn’t escape being around the ice. When he was little, his mom would put him in ice shows as a “prop,” so she knew where he was. Finally, at ten, he decided he wanted to skate in a show and began lessons. To solo, he had to be able to do an axel—it took him only a year. Skating has been a passion ever since.
Juju started skating at eight when her family lived in California, and she continued after they moved to Florida. She entered her first competition when she was ten. She loves being on the ice and it shows in her smiles. “I always loved the jumping and spinning,” she said, “and now I like pairs more than singles. I think there are more opportunities for us in pairs.”
|Practicing the platter lift.|
Timmy would like to do it all. “I want to medal in competitions and then work in shows and coach. “I want to be part of other skaters’ journey.” Eventually, though, he’d like to study choreography in college and work with both skaters and dancers.
“I’d like to do the same skating things as Timmy,” said Juju, “except for the choreography. I really like art and computers, and would love to design a game.” She also enjoys sculpture and digital art and looks forward to studying both in college someday.
With so much talent and a willingness to work hard, I’m sure Timmy and Juju will find success both on and off the ice. Good luck to both of them at Nationals—and beyond!!