A champ on and off the ice


October 28, 2007|By Kenneth K. Lam | Kenneth K. Lam,Sun Photographer

I had an opportunity to meet and photograph ice skater Kimmie Meissner recently while she practiced at the University of Delaware preparing to defend her national figure skating title in a new season of competitions. I was scheduled to photograph her and other skaters at Skate America, an international event, in Reading, Pa., and seeing her practice helped me tremendously in preparing.

On this day, she had driven with her mother to the university at 7 in the morning. She had already attended at least one class before we met, and she still had two hour-long practice sessions and a weight-training program to complete before she was done for the day.

She had been enduring such a vigorous training schedule since she was about 6, her mother said.

This time, she had the bonus of dealing with a reporter, who was prodding her for information on her new long program and the costume she would wear in the coming competition, not to mention me photographing her every jump and fall during practice.

I even photographed her eating lunch and rubbing her cold toes after skating. But, through the day, she was as friendly as could be and genuinely seemed to enjoy our presence.

Over my 18 years with The Sun, I have photographed my share of professional athletes and VIPs. Some are very gracious during my time with them and then there are the others. Kimmie definitely belongs in the first group.

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