Tune in for even five minutes of an elite figure skating competition and you’re struck by the crazy blend of athleticism, precision, and grace under pressure required to nail those routines. For Olympic hopefuls, a lifetime of training can come down to landing a handful of jumps in a two-minute program.
How do these elite skaters do it? We decided to ask one: Brianna Laxson, a 13-year-old from northern Virginia who is about to compete in the 2013 National Championships. We paid a visit to Laxson and her coach one afternoon at their training rink to see if we could find the secret to her success.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.