Kristina wanted to skate her entire life and never had the chance until she was an adult. During her last semester of college at Penn State (University Park), she took her first learn-to-skate class and loved it! When Kristina started her professional career in Harrisburg, Pa., she found a local learn-to-skate program and continued working on her skills. Five years later and no longer beginners, that core group morphed into an adult synchro skating team—competing together for the next 12 years. Kristina is excited for this new opportunity with Revolution Ice Unity and to see where the group’s creativity and passion take them.
“I’m passionate about synchro skating—and my ‘happy place’ is being on the ice with this incredible group of women!”-Kristina Pae, Revolution Ice Unity Skater
Years Skating Synchro: 13 years
Favorite Synchro Element: Wheel
Best Competition Moment: The year our former team skated to a Michael Jackson medley, one of our teammates took a scary fall at Colonials mid-program and hit her head on the ice. Showing true grit, she got back up and finished the program with blood running down her face. Immediately afterwards off ice, another teammate who is a doctor removed her single white glove—naturally part of the competition attire since we were skating to MJ—and used it to clean up blood as she tended to our teammate’s injury. Thankfully, our teammate was okay, and we ended up winning the gold!
Most-Loved Program Song: It’s a tie between a medley inspired by “The Great Gatsby” movie music and a Michael Jackson medley. Nothing gets your blood pumping at a 5:30 a.m. practice quite like the King of Pop.
Happiest Moment with the Team: There are many. One particular favorite was in 2014 when we earned our first medal, a bronze, at Easterns. We weren’t on anyone’s radar, as a new team with a last-place finish the year before. In 2014, we were one of 17 teams in our division, and we qualified for the championship round… and then skated on to secure the bronze. Many medals, including gold, were to come for our group, but that bronze medal still holds the top spot in my heart because it was the moment we “arrived.”
In Her Own Words
“This special group of people epitomizes the concept of team. I was diagnosed with MS in 2008 and since then, some additional autoimmune-related issues. I have been able to continue skating competitively thanks to their support, love, and patience. They literally keep me balanced on mornings where my body isn’t cooperating with me. Additionally, they’ve been active annual participants with and donors to my Walk MS team. I feel so blessed to have them in my life as my skating sisters. Our bond transcends the skating rink.”
Read More Skater Profiles
Get to know other skaters who are part of the Revolution Ice Unity team. We’re proud of our sisterhood and always looking for new friends to join this amazing group.See Team Profiles
Golden Touch Blog
The Golden Touch blog shares stories of success and sisterhood. Read Kristina’s most recent Revolution Ice Unity blog post below.
- Mentoring Gold Medal Dreams
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about gratitude and the concept of mentoring. I believe that when things get tough in your own life, the best thing you can do is to step out of yourself and double down on giving generously to others: empathy, wisdom, grace, love, and time. As a seasoned adult and parent, my own understanding of paying it forward continues to evolve.
But before I share thoughts on the present day, let’s go back to the start. I’ve had tremendous opportunities for learning and growth thanks to the generosity and patience of my mentors. This includes mentors on the ice.
I laced up ice skates for the first time as a 22-year-old senior during my last semester at Penn State. I was fortunate enough to secure one of 25 highly coveted learn-to-skate class spots—it was finally time for me to pursue my gold medal dreams! Like all new skaters, I was hesitant, slow, and methodical. But, I was getting better with each hour spent on the ice with the college’s patient instructors mentoring me. They encouraged me. I stayed with it.
The capstone project of our semester was a group performance at Penn State’s spring ice show. Focusing more on the program steps versus stressing about perfect mohawks and 3-turns, the experience advanced my confidence quickly. And, I realized I couldn’t get enough of this intoxicating sport.
Flash forward a few years, and my local adult learn-to-skate class decided officially to give adult synchronized skating a shot. A unique team discipline within the US Figure Skating universe, synchro presented us with new skills to learn to meet specific program requirements—intersections, pinwheels, blocks, lines, and circles. We also learned about spacing and how to complete these moves safely and in very close proximity to each other, all while training individually to perfect the basics of high-quality ice skating. We may have been slow at the start, but we were having a great time and setting the foundation of our team.
I reflect back again on patience, and the grace of my top-level synchro skating teammates. These skating sisters selflessly mentored those of us who were new to the discipline and oftentimes, scared to try things. They could have skated with far more competitive and challenging teams, but they chose to invest in those of us who were passionate and committed but just needed some time to grow.
And grow we did, to the point where I’ve lost count of the number of medals I have in my possession earned alongside these ladies! At some point, it all just clicked (it always does if you have the right people on board), and both old and new came together in synchronicity as champions.
Our new independent adult synchro skating team, Revolution Ice Unity, gives me the opportunity to see my skating journey come full circle. I feel blessed to be able to pay it forward by mentoring our eager new recruits—suddenly, I’m one of the veterans helping to teach and grow a new group of fledgling Central Pennsylvania adult synchronized skating teammates. What an honor!
Additionally, I now understand my own mentors’ motivations more than ever—it’s all based on a sheer joy for skating and a commitment to investing in people and achieving together. I’m moved by how these new skaters are already investing in themselves and this team. They inspire me to do my part to deliver an amazing experience—and nurture some new gold medal dreams.
More on Revolution Ice Unity
Revolution Ice Unity is a proud, independent member of U.S. Figure Skating.