Hazel Collier was four years old when she started in the Learn to Skate program at The Skating Club of Boston, and she quickly fell in love with the sport. She joined other young skaters in Ice Chips that year and has now performed in 11 consecutive shows.
Though Jason Wong, Hazel’s first coach, stressed the importance of making a connection to music in guiding young skaters to develop their talent, it is Hazel’s own dedicated training that has earned her a place among the nation’s top young skaters.
In January 2019, she was named Intermediate Ladies bronze medalist at the U.S. Figure Skating National Championship in Detroit; she performed to New Girl In Town from “Hairspray” to achieve the second-highest components score. The year before, she brought home the gold from the 2018 New England Regional Championships and pewter from the U.S. Eastern Sectional Championships in 2018.
“Skating is the thing I enjoy most in life,” says Hazel, 14. “ Every day there are new challenges,” such as mastering the difficult double axel, triple jumps, and triple-triple combinations. “I love to give it my all.”
Hazel’s parents, Debbie and Chris, describe The Skating Club of Boston as Hazel’s home away from home. “We are so grateful to the coaches, leadership, and friends who have supported her through the cold early morning practices, long days, many falls, and then the triumphs of landing a new jump, and championship moments,” says Debbie.
Hazel credits her Club coaches, former Olympians Suna Murray and Simon Shnapir. “Both coaches have high expectations, “and they stay calm,” she says. “They have helped me grow both as a skater and a person.”
Says Suna, “Hazel’s success comes from natural talent and from being a great competitor. She knows how to perform under pressure.”
Hazel entered the 2020 – 2021 competitive season with a first-place finish at the New England Regional Singles Challenge and a second-place finish at the Eastern Sectional Singles Final, qualifying her as one of a few novice skaters to compete at the junior level at the U.S. Championship last October.
“I have learned that hard work will always pay off,” says Hazel, “and I’m grateful for support from my peers.”
Now Hazel is looking forward to training at the Club’s new home in Norwood. “I am excited for the Olympic-sized rink and the off-ice training opportunities with lots of space and high-tech workout equipment,” she says. “The new facility will create a more elite training environment – one that really will help me stay focused and inspired.”