Natasha Kacharia first strapped on a pair of roller skates in the second grade. During a theater production of “The Little Engine That Could” at Rosa Parks Elementary, the students skated around the stage, she laughed.
In the past eight years, The Overlake School junior-to-be has taken her skating skills to many national competitions and earned spots on the medal podium. She has won eight national medals, including a gold in the Sophomore A Women Figures event at the recent US Roller Figure Skating Nationals in Lincoln, Nebraska. The event featured skaters age 15 and above.
Redmond’s Kacharia, 16, said a friend of hers back in the Rosa Parks days participated in competitive skating and got her on board with the sport.
“I tried a lot of sports,” said Kacharia, who noted that skating tops her list. “It’s a place where you kind of forget and focus on one thing.”
Roller-skating competitions are similar to ice-skating events — participants roll through their three- to four-minute choreographed routines to music and perform spins and jumps. (Kacharia has ice skated during public sessions, but is dedicated to roller skating.)
Kacharia said tons of practice at Lynnwood Bowl and Skate put her in position to shine at competitions. From October through July, she trains 12 hours a week during the school months and 25 hours a week during the summer months.
She said being in the competition spotlight is “pretty intense,” and “afterward, it’s just fun.”