By James Macey – 1851 Staff
Lasell alum Alice O’Connor (‘17) recently experienced a rare opportuity – the chance to represent Team USA in the 2018 World Synchronized Skating Championship in Sweden in March.
O’Connor started skating for Pittsfield Skating Club when she was five years old and has been involved with the Skating Club of Boston, where she skated for Team Excel, a synchronized skating team. She now skates for the Skyliners in New York for their senior line.
The journey, however, wasn’t the easiest for O’Connor. Continuing skating while pursuing an education came with a lot of hardships and challenges, with some days making her want to give up since the start of her senior year at Lasell.
“There were definitely days where I didn’t want to go to practice and hang out with my friends from school,” O’Connor said, “Then there’s been days where I would feel like my school work was suffering.” The challenges she faced as a student-athlete early on led her to want to be the best skater she could be.
“I felt like my full potential in skating wasn’t reached and any athlete will tell you when you feel like you have more to give, it’s really hard to make the choice to give up,” said O’Connor.
O’Connor decided that giving up wasn’t an option. For athletes, there’s always the ‘what if’ factor, but for O’Connor she wanted to continue skating and it ultimately went uphill from that point on.
Fast forward to the spring of 2017 when she tried out for the senior status team. O’Connor’s success making the team guaranteed her the opportunity to represent the United States in competition.
Representing her country is nothing new to O’Connor, who has also competed in Germany and Austria. “It’s always an amazing experience to represent your country,” she said. “Hearing the crowd chant ‘USA’ over and over is beyond words. It is an amazing, wonderful, and privileged experience.”
O’Connor’s team placed second in the World Championship. She is accompanied by an 11-day offseason before she competes again. As for her degree, she was accepted into the Physical Therapy program at Northeastern University, which she deferred from until the spring of 2019. Until then, O’Connor plans to continue skating as long as she can.