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The ice leads Vincent to mentoring others

MADISON – Six days per week, Sarah Vincent figure skates with Skating Club of Huntsville. At the Juvenile level, Sarah has earned medals at several competitions. Recently, she won first place in the Scott Hamilton Invitational in Antioch, Tenn.

Sarah is a freshman at St. John Paul II Catholic High School. She also takes tumbling at The Matrix Gym.

Sarah loves “the feeling of jumping, spinning and just moving on the ice. The skating rink is my happy place. No matter how hard the day has been, skating always makes it better.”

She enjoys practices, competitions, shows, skating friends and talented coach Melinda Mowdy. She especially likes volunteering as a teaching assistant for Special Olympics figure skating. “These athletes are so sweet, funny, talented and inspirational. I love being friends with them all.”

As a six-year-old, Sarah first skated at Point Mallard and then occasionally for fun until December 2011 when she and her mother attended “Nutcracker on Ice.” “I knew I wanted to start skating right away.” After attending a holiday skate camp, she enrolled in lessons.

Her brother Michael is a Rainbow Elementary School sixth-grader. “My parents are Gregory and Nancy. My dad works as a civilian for the Army. My mom works part time at St. John’s nursery and spends the rest of her time taking care of me and my brother, who has autism and epilepsy,” Sarah said.

In summer 2016, the Vincents moved to Madison from East Limestone, primarily to enroll Michael in Madison City Schools’ special education program. “We wanted Michael to have the best opportunities possible,” Sarah said.

Q & A

Q: What are your favorite restaurants?

A: I Love Sushi, Chick-fil-A, IHOP, Zaxby’s and Rosie’s.

Q: What’s your favorite food?

A: Bacon and chocolate chip pancakes.

Q: What are your favorite sports teams?

A: U.S. Figure Skating Team and Huntsville Havoc.

Q: What’s your favorite sports memory?

A: Competing in the Scott Hamilton Invitational, Sarah earned first place for the first time in her freeskate program in Open Juvenile. “Juvenile” is the first level that uses International Judging System with judges giving points based on skills.

“I received my personal best score. I also got to meet Scott Hamilton, an Olympic gold medalist,” Sarah said. As Hamilton completed a standing back flip, “my brother was about to have a meltdown because he needed to leave the building,” Sarah said. “Some kids with autism get overwhelmed by too many sounds and people.”

Scott Hamilton approached Michael, bent down and talked, thus treating Michael like everyone else. Michael became still, quieted and listened to Hamilton. “I always knew Scott was a great skater, but the way he treated Michael is a memory I’ll never forget.”

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: Tumbling, volunteering at St. John’s and teaching skating to Special Olympics team.

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