juin 21, 2021
(Yohanna) a.k.a. “Joey”
(nickname origin remains ‘top-secret’ until this day)
Hometown: Caledon, Ontario, Canada
Country Represented: Poland
Discipline: Ice Dance
Spirit Animal: Dolphin
“You get what you work for, not what you wish for.” – Howard A. Tullman
After learning to skate at the age of two, Hanna began figure skating at age six. She trained and competed in a variety of disciplines including free skate, synchronized skating, and ice dance, which later became her primary focus around the age of twelve.
In 2017, Hanna and her partner represented the country of Poland on the Junior Grand Prix Circuit for one season in ice dance.
Q: Who is someone (outside of skating) that inspires you?
“My mom inspires and motivates me every day. She is the most hard working and strongest person I know. My mom has taught me countless life lessons and truly embodies the "Champion Mindset".”
Q: Who was your skating ‘role-model’ when you were younger?
Tessa Virtue & Piper Gilles [… do we even need an explanation, two total power houses!]
Q: Do you prefer morning or evening practices?
"Morning for sure! Nothing beats starting your day on the ice."
Q: What is your favourite type of off-ice training?
Hanna even helped lead her varsity team's off ice via zoom during the pandemic and cancellation of the intercollegiate season.
Q: How do you get yourself through 'tough' training days or times when you don’t really want to be at the rink?
“On days where I don’t want to go to the rink I rely on discipline and knowing that I have people counting on me. When skating competitively it helped me to think about working my hardest to not let my partner down, and in collegiate skating it was the same but for my team. Luckily, for me these days didn’t happen often as skating is usually the part of the day I look forward to most!”
Q: Do you have any pre-competition rituals or superstitions?
“I always put on my left skate then my right skate; then tie my left skate, then tie my right skate; then retie the top of my left skate and retie the top of my right skate.”
Q: How do you calm your nerves at competition?
"When calming my nerves during competitions I like to remind myself why I figure skate, which at the end of the day is to have fun. By reminding myself I am there to have fun, it removes the pressure I put on myself and allows me to enjoy the competition more! I know that I perform better when I am having fun :)"
Q: Did you ever endure any type of setback/adversity/injury/etc throughout your career? How did you overcome it?
“As in any competitive sport, overcoming adversity is part of figure skating. Difficult situations challenge each athlete uniquely and can either push athletes to better themselves or cause them to break under pressure. Whether it be abusive partnerships, coaches that laughed in my face when I asked them to treat me with respect, or moving across the world to have my partner quit skating mid-season, I was able to overcome these difficult situations with the support of my family and friends because of my love for the sport.”
“The most important [life] skill skating taught me is how to fall and get back up.”
Q: Do you have a standout ‘skating memory’?
"Spending a summer in France in a house full of 18 skaters to train with my new ice dance partner!"
Q: How was the transition from competitive ice dance to competing on a university team?
“Going from competitive ice dance, training up to 4 hours a day, and transitioning into collegiate skating, training around 10 hours a week, was a huge change for me. Although I had some time off [from] skating before entering university, when getting back on the ice, I always wanted to put purpose into every practice.”
Hanna explains that her experience with training regimens, expectations, and the overall environment between her competitive career and collegiate skating were different.
“Once I accepted the differences in training I had a great experience moving into collegiate skating. I was so lucky to be able to continue skating through University and I reminded myself I was there to have fun. Being able to skate and create a great community of friends while completing my degree was a great experience!”
“Collegiate skating helped me find a community of people with similar interests, gave me the opportunity to develop lifelong friendships, and improved my leadership skills.”
She also recounts the team cheers for her teammates during competitions being one of her favourite memories.
Q: Do you have any hobbies outside of skating?
“I love working out and being active in many ways! I have always enjoyed working out, but over the last year I have been more consistent and greatly improved my strength. I also love trying new sports! Recently, I have been mountain biking, hiking, and white water kayaking in B.C.”
“Over the last year, with rinks closed I’ve been able to try so many new outdoor sports that I didn’t have time to try before! I’ve been able to try ski touring, mountains biking, sea kayaking, and more!”
In conjunction with studying kinesiology at the University of Toronto, Hanna is now working at a chiropractic clinic in British Columbia to help a new doctor begin her practice. She also plans on attending chiropractic college to further her education for her professional career.
Q: Where’s one place you’ve never been but hope to visit?
“I hope to visit Switzerland one day! I love the mountains and would love to snowboard there.”
Lastly, what does it mean to you to have a #ChampionshipMindset?
“To me, a Championship Mindset is about working hard every day, looking at the big picture, showing up for yourself and your teammates, and persevering through adversity and failures to achieve your goals.”