Alexa Gasparotto Credit: Rohene Ward photo

It’s been a year of training, focus and development, and on Nov. 10 Alexa Gasparotto delivered a polished, confident program to finish second at the Midwestern Sectional Singles and U.S. Pairs Final. With that, Gasparotto earned her first-ever trip to the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. 

“It was super, super exciting,” said Gasparotto, 19. The 2023 U.S. Championships will take place in San Jose, Calif. in January. Only the top two finishers in the senior ladies division were guaranteed spots at the U.S. Championships. Other skaters must wait until the other sectional competitions are completed and the remaining entrants will qualify based on scores. Gasparotto wasn’t leaving anything to chance.

“My short program was not the best, so going into the long I had to mentally prepare myself more than normal, reassuring myself that I can do everything in the program,” said Gasparotto. “Going into the long and after the long, I was really excited more than nervous. I felt I did really well turning all of my nervous, anxious energy into excitement, which really helped.”

Gasparotto won’t compete again until the U.S. Championships, but she looks forward to honing her performance skills at several Christmas shows over the coming weeks. Skating for 15 years, she is satisfied that all her hard work, particularly coming back from injury, is coming to fruition.

“Throughout the years, I’ve been kind of unsure. I had to relearn how to love the sport as I got older,” she said. “Now, making Nationals, I feel like I finally did it. I have this under my belt. Everything that I’ve been working for is paying off. Also, I feel the excitement from inspiring younger skaters. That meant a lot to me.”

Gasparotto will be joined in San Jose by Starr Andrews, 21, who did not have to compete at a sectional competition because she went to two Grand Prix events. This will be the first time in 23 years that two Black women have competed in the senior ladies event.

“Me making Nationals, that was kind of an underdog moment,” said Gasparotto. “Going into sectionals, people were unsure of how I was going to do. Now, going into Nationals everybody is going to be watching us. I feel like we are going to be the ‘it factor’ for this year. Eyes on us, which was the goal for this year.”

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