Last month, figure skater Lindsay Thorngren, who trains in Montclair, New Jersey, skated to a decisive first-place finish at the ISU Junior Grand Prix event in Courchevel, France. Despite the challenges of the past 18 months, she has managed to show consistent improvement in her skating.

After an impressive sixth-place finish in the senior ladies event at the 2021 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, a major boost to Thorngren’s skating came in April when she was named a recipient of the Mabel Fairbanks Skatingly Yours Fund, which supports the training and development of promising BIPOC skaters. Honored in the Up and Coming category, she joined Starr Andrews as a recipient of this award named for Mabel Fairbanks, the first African American person to be inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

“It means a lot because Mabel did a lot for skating and recognized talent,” said Thorngren, whose mother is from the Dominican Republic. “I’m inspired by her story.”

Thorngren, 15, is coached by Julia Lautowa and Nina Petrenko, and her choreography is done by Petrenko and Benoit Richaud. She credited Richaud with helping her present a more mature style. Prior to the competition in Courchevel, she attended an 11-day training camp in France that she found both informative and motivating.

“I like competition a lot and I like the competitive environment,” said Thorngren, who is an honor student at Montclair High School. “I like to push myself to become better and to be the best.”

Shortly after Thorngren won the 2020 U.S. Junior Ladies title, she competed at the World Junior Championships. Frustrated with her performance at the latter competition, she was eager to get back to training, but the rinks soon closed due to COVID-19.

“I did a lot of off-ice training and core work because I wanted to do better and be stronger when I came back to skating,” said Thorngren, who cited Yuna Kim, Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold as inspirations.

Up next for Thorngren is another ISU Junior Grand Prix event. The 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championships will take place in Nashville, Tennessee in early January. Her goals for this season are to continue improving. “Hopefully land my triple Axel clean at a competition,” she said. “I’m trying to improve all my skills and make everything better. I want to make the Olympic team.”