Give ’em a cheer!

Phillip Brents

Fri October 25, 2013 12:43pm

Victoria and Nicole Buddie can alternately start and finish a sentence together. Why not? They’re twins.
“Everything we do is together,” said Nicole, who is one minute older than her sister. “Every sport we’ve done has been together,” Victoria added.
While their cheerleading outfits at Otay Ranch High School may match, the high school sophomores said they do not otherwise dress alike. But that doesn’t mean they have conflicting personalities. Far from it, in fact, according to the girls.
“You always have somebody by your side,” said Nicole in describing what it feels like to have a twin sister. “You’re never alone and always have a best friend with you,” Victoria completed the thought.
“Ahhhhh,” both girls sighed in unison.
The twins have been cheerleading at ORHS for the past two years, and this is their first year on varsity. Their other athletic endeavors include track and field and figure skating. They experienced their first year in track and field last spring as freshmen, competing in the 800-meter distance; they have a lot more experience in figure skating — 12 years, to be exact.
“The surfaces are completely different,” Nicole said in comparing ice to the rubberized all-weather track surface.
The girls got into figure skating through the urging of their mother Patricia, who, according to the twins, had always wanted to take up the sport but never had the chance. The cold ice sheet led to warm hearts, however. “We loved it!” the twins chimed in unison, both releasing glowing smiles.
Practice — and a lot of it — has paid off. The girls earned gold medals in the intermediate level as members of Team Del Sol at U.S. Figure Skating’s 2013 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships held Feb. 27 to March 2 in Plymouth, Mich. The annual event attracts more than 3,000 athletes, coaches, team support and fans. More than 100 teams qualify to compete. The intermediate level is one of 13 levels for synchronized skating within the U.S. Figure Skating structure. Figure skating includes many different competitive events such as individual skating, synchronized skating, pairs skating, ice dancing and theater on ice.
Besides competing in synchronized skating, the girls have also earned individual medals throughout their figure skating careers and are currently skating as individuals after taking a break from competing for Team Del Sol, for which they have skated for eight years.
 “It takes a lot of dedication,” Victoria said. “We wake up to go to practice before school starts.” That is an understatement.
The alarm goes off at 3:50 a.m. in order for the girls to make 5 to 6 a.m. practices three times a week at the UTC ice rink in La Jolla. A full day of school follows. Then there are two-hour cheer practices twice each week. After that, there is homework to do, including that for AP (advanced placement) classes.
“Although some people might think ‘Who could possibly enjoy that?’ … ‘I would never get up that early’ or ‘You guys are crazy’ … but when it’s something you’re truly dedicated to and find that it’s your passion, you’ll do anything to succeed,” Nicole explained.
Skating requires a lot of core and leg strength and actually has helped with cheerleading, especially with conditioning and rhythm. Talking to them, one thing is evident: they enjoy performing for an audience. That includes figure skating, cheerleading and track and field.
“We like the excitement and the challenges of competing,” Veronica explained.
“Being a cheerleader in high school was always something that my sister and I had wanted,” Nicole said. “Being in front of a crowd, performing in front of others, promoting school spirit and truly becoming a part of your school is something we really enjoy.”
What could be on the horizon for these spirited young ladies in the world of figure skating? They both would like to make figure skating a career, continue to compete in college and one day share their talent with other kids who also want to learn how to figure skate.
They also have stated another long-range goal, delivered simultaneously, of course of “competing internationally.” That would mean, they said, competing for Team USA.
“With hard work and dedication, you can accomplish your goals if you push yourself a little bit further,” Victoria summed up.
The Olympics someday? Don’t be surprised!