Bradie Tennell, the 2018 U.S. ladies figure skating champ, has officially moved to Colorado Springs! The 22-year old Olympic bronze medalist switched coaches this summer, and we caught up with her for a Q & A about her move and connection to Olympic City USA.
Q: We are excited for your move to Colorado Springs. What are you most excited for about living in Colorado Springs?
A: I am most excited for the new training environment and new coaching opportunities I have here.
Q: What previous experience do you have visiting or training in Colorado Springs?
A: I have been to Colorado Springs several times over the years for Champs Camp, competitions, and other camps. I don’t recall having too much trouble adjusting to the altitude, so I’m hoping it’s the same this time.
Q: Are there any natural training grounds you have spent time at here? If so, what did you enjoy about them?
A: I actually went to the Garden of the Gods with my Mom, the first weekend we were here. We both really enjoyed hiking the trails and climbing some of the rocks, and of course, the views were incredibly beautiful. We also have plans to go to the Manitou Incline in the near future.
Q: As an athlete, your training and day-to-day life has been heavily impacted due to COVID-19. What advice can you give to residents in Colorado Springs on how to remain resilient during these difficult times?
A: One of the biggest things I have found myself doing during this crazy time is setting small, mundane goals. It really helps me stay motivated to get things done, and also gives me a sense of accomplishment as I check things off my to-do list. I have also been spending more time outside, and I think the fresh air and sunlight are just really good for the mind and body. Being outside, even just to eat lunch every day, has helped me go into the afternoon feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the next goal I’ve set for myself.
Q: U.S. Figure Skating, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center, and the USOPC are headquartered here. What are the benefits of having all of these so close?
A: I would say it creates a really good network of support that is much more easily accessible to me here than it was in Chicago. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, it hasn’t really made a difference to me yet.
Q: Here in Olympic City USA, we strive to instill the Olympic and Paralympic values into our residents and organizations, including the Olympic value of friendship. As part of the Olympic movement, how have you seen or been impacted by friendship in your Olympic journey?
A: I am very blessed to have many skating friends all over the world. Competing internationally throughout the years has given me such amazing learning opportunities. By having these friends from all over the world I have gotten to learn about other cultures and values. The Olympics totally multiplied all my prior experiences. Meeting athletes from other counties and sports was such a new experience. I had so much fun comparing training schedules, foods, and traditions. The one thing I loved learning about that was true for so many athlete was that they have the same passion for their sport as I have for my skating.
Q: And finally, here is a fun one: if you could magically change sports to a summer Olympic sport, which one would you choose and why?
A: If I could magically change to a summer Olympic sport, I would want to be a swimmer. Growing up, whether it was a pool lake or ocean, I always loved being in the water. During the summer, it’s one of my favorite ways to spend my time off.