Back and forth
For Aubrey Orcutt, roller skating has played a major role in her life
almost since birth. The daughter of Lorry and Kenny Orcutt of Redwood
City, Calif., the 18-year-old said she's been on skates since she was
just a year old.
"My parents have always skated so I just went right into it,"
she said. "They both are coaches and manage a rink in Redwood City, so my whole life has been in the rink. When I was little I had to skate,
but I love it and have stayed with it since."
Skating has been a natural fit for both Orcutt, and her older sister,
Jennifer, both of whom have represented the United States at the
World Figure Skating Championships the past several years.
Skating with William Galvin at the 2000 World Championships in
Springfield, Mass., Aubrey Orcutt and Galvin won the silver medal for
their performance in the Junior World Class Pairs competition. Last
year in Florence, Italy, she and Robert Hines finished fourth in the
overall pairs standings.
The past two years at nationals, Orcutt has also just missed
qualifying for the Junior World Team in the freestyle competition by
placing third in the event. In the Junior World Class division, only
the top two finishers compete at the world championships. At the
World Class level, the top three finishers compete at worlds.
While much of her focus has been competing with traditional quad
skates, Orcutt also has been competing on in-line skates. The quieter
and sleeker three-wheel in-line skates have been slow to catch on
with the traditionalists of the sport. However, this year will mark
the first time that open in-line freestyle competition will be
included at the world championships in Wuppertal, Germany.
The international governing body of roller sports, the Federation
Internationale de Roller Sports, was quick to recognize the dramatic
change in-line skates made to speed skating and hockey at the
international level, but in-lines have met, and continue to meet,
resistance in figure skating.
Now, after much debate, figure skaters have an opportunity to compete
at worlds on in-lines. Orcutt, the defending national champion in
Open Women's In-line Freestyle, is looking forward to the prospects
of winning medals at this year's worlds on in-lines and quad skates.
She and Hines have already captured the silver medal in Junior World
Class Pairs, qualifying for next month's world championships.
"I've competed about four years on in-lines, but I've actually been
skating on them for the past six years," said Orcutt. "I
stopped for about a year, but have been back skating on them since."
During the Open Women's In-line elimination Monday morning, Orcutt
said for the most part she was happy with her routine.
"I've been having a little trouble with one of my harder jumps, but
hit it in the routine, so that's good," she said.
Orcutt grew up on quad skates, which to her are like wearing her
everyday shoes, and there's no problem making the switch to in-lines.
"You adjust to it and it's no big deal," she said. "It's
problem going back and forth between the different skates."
Orcutt is quick to attribute her skating skills her parents.
"They basically made me what I am," she said. "They
taught me my
whole life in skating, so everything I can do is thanks to them."
For her parents, who have skated most of their lives, it's always
been a dream for their daughters to make the world team.
"We both came close, within two placements, but my kids have far
surpassed any expectations I ever had," said Lorry. "They're
incredible and what's better is they're beautiful."
Lorry said she and her husband, who was unable to attend this year's
nationals, have always tried to making skating fun, in addition to
work. "We tried to keep it in perspective, and not be our entire
Aubrey Orcutt, who will be making her third trip to a world
championships, said it's has been exciting to be part of Team USA the
past two years.
"It's really neat to meet all the different people, and to get to
all the different things is a lot of fun," she said.
While Orcutt has reached many of her goals in skating, she still
looks to qualify for Team USA's freestyle team. Missing the junior
team the past two years by one placement, Orcutt moves next year to
the senior world competition, but the goal remains the same ... make
the world freestyle team.
"I missed it by one the last two years, so hopefully I'll make it
next year," she said.
While she's the defending national freestyle champion on in-lines,
Orcutt said quad skates are still her favorite.
After all, that's what she grew up on.