Who could've predicted that a pair of strap-on roller skates would lead Madeline Davies, 15, of Highland to compete in the USA Roller Sports National Figure Skating Championships?
What started as a childhood pastime has turned into a personal passion for Madeline who now skates for Team USA, practicing regularly at Cal Skate Center in Grand Terrace.
Highland Community News caught up with Madeline during practice on Tuesday July 16.
"It feels good," Madeline said about going to Spokane, "also kind of intimidating because there's so many competitors. The event I'm skating in, I'm also cometing against women who are also in world class (competitions)."
Madeline follows in her mother Alisa's footsteps, or in this case tracks.
"My mom introduced it to me when I was (younger), and I started getting more involved in it. And then I started coming to Grand Terrace for sessions and then I started taking their classes. And then I joined the team."
Alisa bought Madeline a pair of strap-on roller skates, which attach to normal sneakers, as a gift for her fourth birthday. From there, she says Madeline took right to the sidewalk with them.
"I loved skating as a little girl," said Alisa. "So I decided to introduce her to it. She spent the entire day going up and down the sidewalk, just determined to learn how to skate. She kept at it and she fell down, she got back up and just kept going and going all day long. And then I decided to bring her to the rink and the rest is history."
While her friends from school aren't all into roller skating, Madeline says she's made friends with her teammates.
The skating rink itself has a long history with the Davies.
"I used to come here (Cal Skate) all the time and have birthday parties when I was younger and I just remembered how much fun it was."
While many parents push their kids to finish schoolwork and find healthy things to do with their free time, with Madeline on the figure skating team Alisa says she hasn't had to do any of that.
"That's Maddie; That's her whole personality. When she sets a goal, she's gonna get there no matter what."
One of Madeline's teachers, Verda Asman, expressed nothing but high hopes for Madeline in this tournament.
"Maddie's a really hard-worker and she'll do very well this year," says Asman.
Alisa and Madeline would like to thank coaches Lori Becker and Verda Asman, as well as teammates Jena Bowman, LJ Bowman, Chance Becker, Kalei Becker, Nicole Fields, Evie Berg, Marvalyn Serano, Hailey Landingham and Kaeleigh Cronin for their support.
Most importantly, Alisa supports Madeline all the way.
"I am so proud of her. She's worked so hard. She puts in 15 to 20 hours a week, on top of schoolwork and she has definitely deserved it [going to nationals]."
You can keep up with Madeline and all of the competition at the National Championships by visiting teamusa.org; Under 'Sports' and 'Summer' click on "Roller Sports."