She ‘eight’ that up


Photo credits: CNN News

On Jan. 27, 15-year-old Isabeau Levito won the first of many gold medals awarded in the U.S. Women’s Figure Skating National Championship, beating Olympic bronze medalist Bradie Tennell by 10 points. Her victory garnered much media attention due to her young age, elegance, and fierce competition against some of the country’s best ice skaters.  

“It [Levito’s victory] shows the truth that anything is possible. You do not need to be older to achieve your dreams, you can achieve them right now. The determination and drive you have can take you further than anyone knows,” Madison Kutschke, senior, said.  

The 2023 Toyota U.S. Figure Skating Championships began Monday, Jan. 23 and concluded Sunday, Jan. 29 in San Jose, California. The women’s competition featured performances from several iconic Olympic figure skaters, such as Bradie Tennell and Starr Andrews. Levito dazzled the audience with one of the hardest skate combinations, a routine with two double-axel jumps and a triple flip. In order to beat Tennell, she was required to have a near-perfect execution. Levito surpassed this expectation and earned 10 points more than Tennell, with a final score of 149.55, a significantly high score.  

“Going into this event, my entire goal truly [for the program] was to stay composed and really try to suppress my nerves as much as possible, to really not let little, minor, silly mistakes happen,” Levito said 

Levito began skating when she was just three years old after she attempted to imitate Olympic bronze medalist Johnny Weir’s routine during the 2010 Olympics. Since then, Levito’s figure skating idol has been Weir, who claimed her routine was one of his favorites of this year’s competition. Levito made her debut at nationals last year and was awarded third place for her performance. She later debuted internationally at the 2021 Junior Grand Prix France II, where she surpassed performances from South Korea and Canada competitors to win the World Junior Figure Skating Title.  

“She takes her jumping passes with the precision of a heart surgeon, but then she floats around like a ballerina,” Deseret News said. 

Levito’s win has made her the first American woman to be awarded a global title on the senior level since 2008. This gold medal was Levito’s first senior women’s title ever, and she is predicted to win several more going forward due to her poise, precision, and determination on the ice.