October 18, 2021
Hometown: Aliso Viejo, California
Spirit Animal: “The quiz I took online says a wolf is my spirit animal.”
Fun Fact: “Most people don’t know that I did horseback riding for more than 10 years. I wanted to be a jockey when I was younger, but I am very happy that I picked figure skating now.”
Beginning her career in the sport at the age of five, Greta and her brother, John, compete in pairs. While they currently train in Monument, Colorado, the twins were born in Sweden and proudly represent their home country today.
“Figure skating and hockey are very popular sports in Sweden and something that most kids try! John and I first stepped on the ice and immediately fell in love with the sport.”
In 2020, the pair qualified for Junior Worlds and reflects on the experience of being able to represent their country at the event as, “…incredible!”
Describe yourself in one word.
“Persistent. If I have my sight set on something, I will do anything in my power to reach it.”
Q: Who is someone in your life that inspires or motivates you?
“My mom and dad are my biggest inspirations. Throughout our lives they have been our biggest supporters both in skating and in life. Their support is what makes skating possible and is also what motivates me to try to get better every single day.
Q: Who was your skating ‘role-model’ when you were younger?
“When I was younger, we were always surrounded with higher level teams and they were my skating role-models. I wanted to be like them, do the same elements as them, and work as hard as them. Seeing what I could possibly develop into when I got older pushed me to get better.”
Q: What is your favourite type of off-ice training?
“I ran cross country and track and field in high school, so running has been a big part of my life and still is even after graduating. I am lucky enough to live in a place with incredible nature; running gives me the opportunity to enjoy it while also moving my body.”
Q: What is your favourite element in skating?
“Throughout my career, my favourite and least favourite elements have changed multiple times. As I got older, throws have become my favourite. There is no better feeling or adrenaline rush than flying through the air and hitting the landing.”
“However, this has not always been the case, there was a period of time when throws scared me but as I grew more confident in my abilities, I learned to love them! I don’t have a least favourite element at the moment, every element in pairs is so drastically different and challenging from the other which is why I love the discipline!”
““Remember where you started and look at where you are now.” I am not sure where I heard it or who said it, but those words inspire me every day. I was not born doing throw triples. I worked for them, everything I have learned is something that I have worked for. Remembering what I was doing five years ago makes me excited to see what I can do in another five years.”
Q: Did you ever endure some type of adversity in your career?
“I think that most figure skaters struggle with [a variety of issues], myself included. For me injuries are something that I have struggled with as well as my partner. Although I have suffered through a couple of serious injuries like an iliac crest avulsion, serious tendonitis, and concussions; it is nothing compared to what John went through.”
“In 2018, he broke his pelvis taking him out of the sport for over a year. Watching my brother and partner struggle to complete daily tasks such as walking, let alone try to get back into the sport, is something that impacted me a lot. During this time a lot of things were uncertain which took a mental toll on myself and my family, especially John. Personally, not knowing if I would ever get to skate with John [again] was devastating and it being out of my control, made it worse.”
“However, we trusted the recovery process, leaned on each other, and after a year he took his first step on the ice again. With obstacles like these, having a support system, staying positive, and trusting the process is key. That has been our biggest struggle as a pair team and for me personally, but it worked out in the end which it always does; one way or the other!”
Q: How do you cope with high pressure situations at important events?
“Whenever I am at an event when the pressure to perform is really high, I try to think about the training that we have done leading up to the event. I think about how many times I have completed each element and the countless programs we have done leading up to the competition. Feeling prepared and having confidence in our abilities makes a world of difference. Besides that, trusting myself and John to do the very best we can, is enough to get some of the nerves to go away.”
“It sounds cheesy but right before our music is about to begin in our starting pose, John and I always say, “Just do your best, I love you.” to each other. It is something that we started doing at our first pairs competition 10 years ago and continued to do [today].”
“Besides that, I would not say that I have any rituals or superstitions, but I am a creature of habit, and having a set routine is something that is very important to keep my nerves under control. Sticking to the same warmup that I do every single day at home and bringing that to competitions creates a sense of normalcy.”
Q: Do you do any type of visualization or meditation?
“Visualization is something my first pairs coach, Sergei Zaitsev, taught me when I was 13. I truly believe it is a very powerful tool because of how much more confident I get in whichever element I am about to do. I repeat the element at least three times in my head and think about how it feels to do them too.
“I mostly do this when I am trying to get past a metal hurdle or right before a competition. Seeing myself complete each element and feeling how the element should feel, makes me focus on the basics of the technique and also reminds me that I am capable!”
Q: What is it that you love most about skating?
“The possibilities are endless. In skating you can always get better, if I master one element, I can learn a new one. I love that you can always get better and there is never a moment that you feel like you can’t do more or like you have reached your peak. Thinking about the things that I can do and what I could possibly accomplish in the future is so rewarding and why I love the sport.”
Q: What is your favourite memory from skating?
“My favorite skating memory is probably the summer camps we did when we were younger. We lived in Indiana at the time and skating with my best friends for hours each day is one of my fondest memories in general.”
Q: On days that you don’t feel like training, what keeps you motivated?
“There are definitely some days that I do not feel like training, usually stemming from my body being tired or a tough week mentally. However, I always go to the ice rink because I know that after a few minutes those feelings go away. Knowing that my mindset will not change if I do not do something about it by giving myself the opportunity to train, keeps me motivated.”
Q: Have you learned any life lessons from skating?
“I think most skaters can agree that skating takes a serious amount of discipline. It has taught me what hard work is, [how to push] past obstacles, and what my priorities are. Skating has truly prepared me for the rest of my life because of the discipline that it has instilled.”
Q: What is your ultimate goal with skating?
“Both John and I just want to be the best we can possibly be. We have already reached our goal of competing internationally on the junior level, so our next goal is to be competitive in senior. Last year was our first senior season but with the pandemic we were not able to do many competitions. We would love to compete in the bigger championships and the Olympics!”
“We have always had short term and long-term goals; our short-term goals often have to do with the points we want to reach or elements we want to have in our program for certain competitions. Our long-term goals have stayed the same for many years and it feels great to slowly but steadily cross them off one at a time!”
Q: Any advice for young and aspiring skaters?
“My best piece of advice is to not be too hard on yourself or letting bad results get to you too much. One score, day, or week does not define you as a skater or a person. If you stay motivated and work hard, you will eventually get to where you want to be.”
Q: If skating didn’t exist and you could be anything else in the world what would it be?
“Although skating takes up a lot of time it has never stopped me from doing other stuff in my life. My life would not be too different without skating, I would still be getting my Computer Science degree and pursuing a career in that field. If I wasn't a figure skater, I would probably have replaced that with a different sport.”
Q: What other hobbies do you have outside of skating?
“I love running, reading, drawing and in the winter John and I go skiing almost every weekend. When I am not doing school [work] or training, I am usually doing those things or hanging out with friends.”
Q: Do you have any aspirations or career goals outside of skating?
“Not only am I excited to reach our goals in skating, but I am also excited for my life after I leave the sport. By the time I retire I will have gotten my degree, if everything goes according to plan, and I am very excited to enter the world of computer programming. My only career goal is to do something that makes me happy, and I am on track to reach that goal.”
Greta is currently in her second year of college studying Computer Science.
“Outside of skating, my biggest accomplishments are school related. School is a big priority for me, and I am proud of the education that I have worked for while skating at the same time!”
Q: Where is one place you’ve never been but hope to visit?
“I have never been to Japan, and I can’t wait for the day I get to go! Based on what I have heard, figure skating is a very popular sport there, the crowds are amazing, and the country is beautiful.”
Q: What type of music gets you ‘in the zone’?
“I usually listen to a throwback playlist with songs ranging from 2010 to 2015. I know all of the lyrics to every single song, and I love them all.”
Lastly, what does it mean to you to have a #ChampionshipMindset?
“A #ChampionshipMindset, is not letting anything keep you from reaching your fullest potential or your goals. Not letting anything or anyone stand in your way and pushing past your comfort level is what makes an athlete and a champion.”