His goal is the 2026 Olympics. And 10-year-old Jacob Sanchez of Montgomery in Orange County took his first big step in that direction by winning his first national figure skating medal on Friday.
Jacob, a member of the Hudson Valley Figure Skating Club, took the silver medal in the Juvenile Boys category in the opening day of the 2018 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Solar4America Ice in San Jose, Calif.
Jacob, who trains six days a week at Ice Time Sports Complex in Newburgh, scored 51.77 points as he skated to the Club Des Belugas remix of "Puttin' On the Ritz."His program included seven double jumps:
- Double Axel + Single Loop + Double Loop combination
- Double Lutz
- Flying Sit Spin
- Double Axel
- Double Lutz + Double Loop combination
- Double Flip
First place went to Keita Horiko, also 10, from the Ice House Of New Jersey Figure Skating Club. He scored 54.35 points for his program to "Peter Pan" music.
Rounding out the podium were Nhat-Viet Nguyen of the Dallas Figure Skating Club, who scored 49.31 points to take the bronze medal, and Andriy Kratyuk, 13, of the Skating Club of Oregon, who finished just one-tenth of a point behind Nguyen at 49.21 to get the pewter medal.
The Juvenile Boys category included the top 12 skaters from around the country.
Jacob qualified for nationals by winning the North Atlantic Regional Championships in New Jersey in October (with 60.40 points) and then coming in third in the Eastern Sectional Championships in Massachusetts in November (with 49.11 points).
He began skating at the age of 5 at the Ice Time Sports Complex in Newburgh.
His coaches are Oleg Makarov and Larisa Selezneva, who won the bronze medal in the 1984 Olympics for the Soviet Union.
Jacob is is a fifth-grader at Montgomery Elementary School. In addition to skating, he enjoys collecting and trading Pokémon cards, playing XBox, drawing and using his iPad, according to his website.
He hopes to be a national champion and compete internationally — all the way to the Olympics. (He will have to move up the skating ranks next to Intermediate, then Novice, Junior, and Senior — the level shown on TV.) Then Jacob wants to be a figure skating coach so that he can inspire other kids in the sport, his website says.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.