Hard work, dedication paying off for Concord skater
Monday, Oct. 28, 2013

Hard work, dedication paying off for Concord skater

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/10/25/14/56/170SjK.Em.138.jpeg|421
    Cheyenne Peterson, a sophomore at Central Cabarrus High, recently competed in her first major qualifying event. She plans to compete in several competitions next year, too.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/10/25/14/56/uZKsL.Em.138.jpeg|421
    Cheyenne Peterson, a sophomore at Central Cabarrus High, has been skating since she was 3 years old. She got involved because it “looked like fun.”

Cheyenne Peterson goes through the same routine that most student athletes do: Going to class every day, then spending most of the afternoon training.

Unlike many of her classmates, though, who go to either the soccer fields or basketball courts on campus, she goes to a cooler place off campus – an ice rink.

Having trained as a figure skater since age 3, Peterson became interested in the sport the way most children do with other sports, by seeing it in person.

“When we used to go to Eastland Mall, you could skate,” Peterson said. “I would walk around the walls and look down at all the other skaters and think, ‘Hey, that looks like so much fun.’ And I eventually talked my mom and dad into letting me go.”

The Central Cabarrus sophomore has worked on the ice for almost two hours a day for the past eight years. Now that the Eastland rink is no more, she trains at the Extreme Ice Center in Indian Trail.

Peterson recently skated in her first major competition, the 2014 South Atlantic Regionals.

“Right now, this is my biggest moment,” Peterson said. “This has been a really big achievement for me. It took a while to get here.”

Though she did not place high enough this time to qualify for the sectionals, Peterson will continue her training to get ready for next year.

“The next competition will be Florida Championships in April,” said Cheyenne’s mother, Terry Peterson. “Then maybe we will go to the Atlanta Open and maybe the Chesapeake Championships. We are trying to branch out to try to get her ready for the regionals next year.”

“She has grown and matured skating-wise. Her presentation and choreography on the ice has improved tremendously,” said Cheyenne’s coach, Sonya Garlick.

Peterson’s hard work and dedication have led her to participate in “Kaleidoscope on Ice,” a cancer awareness event. And she has been able to catch the attention of some of figure skating’s big names.

“I got to skate with Johnny Weir, Nancy Kerrigan, Scott Hamilton and Kurt Browning,” Peterson said. “I also got a 40-minute lesson from Todd Eldredge.”

Peterson’s parents support her 100 percent. Terry Peterson said she and her husband, Ric, will “do all they can to keep (Cheyenne) going in the right direction.”

“To where she wants to go as far as her goals and everything,” Terry Peterson said, “we do whatever we can. We lose some things and we gain some things by her skating.”

For Cheyenne Peterson, though, it’s all about being on the ice.

“I like everything about it,” Peterson said. “The overall experience is just great – just the independence. Not really being on the team, just having the whole ice to myself, is what I like the best.”

Zach Morton is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Zach? Email him at zacharymorton@icloud.com.

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