Being a figure skating fan in Georgia is a difficult task. Being a figure skater in Georgia is even harder.
Yet, despite the relative obscurity of the sport and the non-conducive climate for outdoor competition, Kristin Hiller counts herself as a member of both factions.
Since she was eight years old, Hiller has been in skates and on ice. Turned onto the game by a cousin, Hiller skated competitively through high school and played an instrumental role in turning her sister on to the sport as well.
“It’s a lot harder than it looks,” Hiller said. “Skating requires so much, both physically and mentally.”
She should know this first hand. Hiller wasn’t just a figure skater; she was a pretty darn good one at that. She lists her crowning achievement as completing her “Senior Moves Test,” one of the highest honors an American figure skater can earn courtesy of US Figure Skating. That being said, Hiller understands her skating didn’t embody perfection.
However, she came close to perfection at the age of 12 when she finally got the opportunity to watch her hero, Michelle Kwan, skate in a showcase.
“She was awesome,” Hiller said. “The audience was so loud that you couldn’t even hear her music because everyone was cheering.”
In her years away from the sport away attending the University of Georgia, (Athens won’t have an ice rink until after she has graduated) Hiller has tried to stay active by judging two or three youth events each year. But as her involvement in the sport has slightly waned, her interest in other games has been piqued.
“Now in college, I’m not able to skate as much so I’ve had to look to other sports to satisfy my craving of the competitive spirit,” Hiller said. “I really enjoy going to the football games and have attended most other sporting events here at UGA as well. I like how a sport can draw such a large audience of people together.”