Athlete Spotlight: Pittsfield figure skater Aimee Boulais
This weekend's Bay State Games brought some of the state's best winter sport athletes to the Berkshires. One of the top figure skaters in Massachusetts didn't have to travel far, though. Pittsfield High School senior Aimee Boulais skates for the Pittsfield Figure Skating Club and dropped by the Eagle offices a couple days before earning a bronze medal in the intermediate freestyle level at the Bay State Games at Lansing Chapman Rink at Williams College. Boulais is now qualified to compete in the 2019 State Games of America in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Berkshire Eagle: When did you start skating, and when did you get competitive with it?
Aimee Boulais: I started when my older sister started. I started competing really young, probably a year after I started skating.
BE: What has the Pittsfield Figure Skating Club meant to you as a skater?
AB: It's always been like home to me. As the years have gone by, there have been skaters that come and go, but we've always been a really close-knit group.
BE: What, in your skating career, are you most proud of?
AB: At Bay State Games you can qualify to go on to the State Games of America, which are every two years. My first year, in 2011, I went to San Diego. I thought it was awesome that I could go that far for skating.
BE: At Bay State Games this weekend, what does your program look like?
AB: You have to follow some guidelines. You have to have six jumps, at least one double, an axle, a combination spin and then you're required to have a flying camel spin. I've been working on it since the beginning of the season. It's to a song from the Arabian Nights soundtrack. I usually do more competitions leading up to this big one, but I got injured with a strained MCL, so this will be my first competition with this routine.
BE: What is the toughest move you do.
AB: The one that is most consistently tough is my double Salchow, but I've done more doubles. I just really love jumping, that's my favorite.
BE: Do you know what you want to do after graduation?
AB: I really want to be an athletic trainer, so I'm looking at Endicott College and Springfield College. I've been injured so many times, and being at physical therapy for so long, being able to see yourself at a low point and help people work their way back up is something I'm in to. I like anatomy and physiology, learning about the body.
BE: What Olympic sports do you like watching most, other that figure skating?
AB: Well, gymnastics, but that's now winter. I don't really watch much of the other winter sports. I play volleyball at Pittsfield, but that's it. I like watching downhill skiing, that looks fun.
BE: Are there any figure skaters you've looked up to?
AB: Yeah, I always loved Gracie Gold. She stopped competing, but I still watch her videos.
BE: What's your favorite spot in the Berkshires to eat?
AB: I always love the Starving Artist in Lee for crepes.
BE: What's next for skating after Bay State Games and high school?
AB: I'm going to try to still compete more, because I just love competing. I have such a drive for it. I won't be able to spend as much time on the ice, though, with school. I want to finish my dance levels with USFSA. I'm a certified gold medalist in moves in the field through USFSA.
BE: What does it take off the ice to be able to do what you do on it?
AB: You have to do a lot of stretching, and just a lot of stamina. I think a program equivalates out to a 5k race. I do 2 minutes, 40 seconds, so it's a lot of strength and conditioning, a lot of legs because of all the jumps. You can't take a long time off, it's yearround. I take like two weeks off, but getting back out there is brutal and you get dizzy.
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