Young figure skater trains in Kansas City with Olympic dreams

SHAWNEE, Kan. - A young figure skater in the Kansas City area has big Olympic dreams and is working hard to try and achieve them.

Alexis Fenton, 15, has been ice skating for 11 years. Her mother enrolled her in a group lesson over a winter break.

Now, Fenton practices five days a week. Before school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, you can find her at the Kansas City Ice Center in Shawnee, Kan. She is also there on Friday after school and Saturdays.

“I take online classes, first and seventh hour, so I only have class five hours of the day, so in the mornings I can skate before school,” Fenton said.

It’s difficult for her to put into words why she loves figure skating so much.

“I don't know, I just love skating,” she said. “I feel like I belong here, like this is my second home.”

Her mother said she never expected Fenton to become so dedicated to this sport.

“I do actually still remember when she was that little kid out there, 5 years old, wearing little dresses, skating around,” Shelley Fenton said. “It's completely different, but I can tell she is having as much fun now as she did then.”

Coach Sharon Brilliantine has coached many figure skaters who have competed nationally and internationally. She said the skaters who are most successful in this sport have more than just physical skills on the ice.

“It's a really tough sport and it teaches a lot of mental strength,” Brilliantine said. “You learn how to be successful but you also learn how to overcome defeat.”

Fenton has already competed in sectionals, the level that comes before nationals. She has dreams of competing in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and possibly even further.

“I'd love to go to the Olympics,” she said. “I'm pretty sure almost everybody here would. But I'm just going to see how far I can go with it.”

Fenton is an ice dancer who is currently searching for a partner.

Her father is from Great Britain so she recently applied for dual citizenship. Brillliantine hopes this will increase Fenton’s opportunities for international competition, but allowing her to skate for either the United States or Great Britain.

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