(NEXSTAR) — The Beijing Winter Olympics are 77 days away. The U.S. figure skating teams will be announced in about two months.
One Texas Olympic hopeful’s Olympic dreams almost died, even though she’s the reigning U.S. national silver medalist and a U.S. junior champion.
“Thinking about that girl who was just sad all the time, didn’t want to do anything, that just felt empty,” figure skater Amber Glenn said.
Who is Amber Glenn? Who does she want to be? The Euless, Texas, figure skater, Glenn asked herself that time after time.
“Knowing how much stronger I’ve gotten since then,” Glenn said. “The dream isn’t completely gone yet. I can still make this work.”
Now, through her effortless glides and spins, Glenn has never felt more like herself.
“Just kind of letting my body take over because it knows what to do,” Glenn said.
This is her first elite season, twirling right into the big Olympic year in 2022 in Beijing, China.
“Going against the best of the best, every other week,” Glenn said. “Honestly, it’s been thrilling.”
Glenn fell in love with the thrill of her blades on the ice when she was just a girl.
“They had to put elbow pads on me, knee pads, a helmet, just because I would go and try to do the big tricks that I saw, even though I could barely skate forward,” Glenn said.
But this deep-rooted passion that she may have just been born with didn’t come without pressure. She went very hard and very elite in the sport at a young age.
She got burned out mentally and physically.
“I had to take a step back from the sport. I had to question what I was doing completely,” she recalled.
After a year or so off the ice, she made a slick return, at first just recreationally. That’s when she realized though she felt iced out by the sport at one point in time, she wasn’t done.
She’s an inspiration to herself, and others, now.
“You can push through it, and you’ll be so much better for it,” Glenn said.
“No matter what, through this season, just proud of how far I’ve come,” Glenn said.
Glenn will know whether she makes the Olympic team in early January after the U.S. figure skating championships in Nashville, Tennessee.
Results from that competition and others throughout this season will be deciding factors in who makes it to Beijing.