Drauden Point Middle School sixth-grader Natalie Hopper is a national champion synchronized figure skater.
Hopper skates with Northbrook’s Teams Elite organization which capped off an undefeated 2019-2020 season by winning the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships in the juvenile category on February 29, 2020 in Providence, Rhode Island.
In synchronized skating, a team performs in-sync on the ice.
The team competed against 12 other teams comprising 9- to 12-year-olds to take home the gold medal.
Winning the championship was scary and exciting, Hopper said.
“We beat our rivals and broke their winning streak,” the 11-year-old said.
Hopper has been skating for five years. She got into the sport during a spring break when her mom suggested she try it.
“I fell in love with it and I just kept skating,” Hopper said.
Teams Elite includes 21 skaters, of which 16 are on the ice for each performance, she said.
Learning to skate in sync with others is hard. Hopper practices up to two hours for six days a week, she said.
Hopper wants to skate through college and has dreams of being a coach one day.
Drauden Point is proud of Hopper, said Principal Kai Freeman.
“All her achievements in and out of school are a true representation of what we take pride in,” he said. “Congratulations to her and all the hard work she has put forth.”