Sophomore Rolls in to Brazil, Leaves with Bronze

Paula Lopez and Trevor Anthony

Sophomore Paula Lopez traveled to Brasilia, Brazil to compete in the Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports Artistic World Championships in Nov. After competing for a week, Lopez came back home with a bronze medal in artistic roller skating.
A difference between Brazil and U.S. included greater popularity in the sport. Unlike here, Lopez experienced star treatment in Brasilia because of her skating talent.
“[Skating] is really big in South America and in Europe, it’s not as big in the United States,” Lopez said. “People [there] were asking me for pictures and autographs so it was really cool. The town was very supportive of the USA team. It was really good to be known like that.”
Sophomore Minthi Le said that she was excited for Lopez’s achievement, but did not know about the sport before she told her about it last year.
“It’s kind of like figure skating but on roller skates,” Le said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever heard of it.”
Lopez started skating when she was seven years old after going to Champions Roller World for a birthday party and seeing people practicing figure roller skating. Since then, she has won many competitions including 27 regional competitions three national competitions. However, Lopez said achieving 3rd at the FIRS Artistic World Championship overshadows all others.
“They’re really great achievements,” Lopez said. “I was really happy when I achieved those but [the FIRS Artistic World Championships] is a total different level than nationals. It’s a big deal when you place or especially when you win.”
Lopez’s skating partner, Trevor Anthony lived in Michigan leading up to the FIRS Artistic World Championships, making getting together and practicing a challenge.
“He’s originally from Michigan, he just moved down here to go to school at U of H,” Lopez said. “It was very challenging because he [had to] fly down almost every weekend from Michigan to practice with us. It was still really hard because during the week we weren’t able to practice with each other so we had to start over every weekend. [Now] it’s a lot easier. He lives only an hour away so he comes every day and we just get a lot more done and it’s more productive.”

Despite this obstacle, Lopez and Anthony managed to make it to the FIRS Artistic World Championships last year and placed 5th in artistic roller skating.
“First you have to pass regional’s and then you have to pass national’s,” Lopez said. “It was our first year [to go to the FIRS Artistic World Championship]. It was our first year skating together as well so it was very challenging just because of all the pressure and all that stuff but it was a good experience.”
Although Lopez experienced success in skating and puts four hours of practice time into skating every day after school she has expanded her sights for the future to include becoming a doctor as well as continuing her skating career.
“I really do want to be [the] world champion as many times as possible,” Lopez said. “An older couple in our skating rink preforms and they get paid for it, so I definitely want to do something like that. I want to be a anesthesiologist, that’s my backup career. I don’t want to skate my whole life because it’s really hard to do that.”