NDP ice skater Merriam Aazami eyes 2022 Winter Olympics berth

Merriam Aazami (Submitted Photo)

Notre Dame Preparatory junior Merriam Aazami is not only busy preparing for the upcoming school year, the Scottsdale native and competitive figure skater is also preparing for another huge test of her skills.

This September, Aazami, who is a dual citizen with Great Britain, will travel to the U.K. with hopes of landing a spot on Great Britain’s Skating Team and representing the National Ice Skating Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (NISA) at the 2022 Winter Olympics, a press release states.

Aazami, who started skating when she was 4, represents the Coyotes Figure Skating Club and trains at least five hours a day, five days a week at Ice Den Scottsdale, 9375 E. Bell Road, under the direction of coaches Karen Gesell, Douglas Razzano, Max Aaron and Todd Gilles.

“Merriam is a joy to work with, as she is very committed to becoming the best athlete that she can be,” Coach Aaron said in a prepared statement. “I know Great Britain would be very honored to have her represent their country.”

Merriam Aazami (Submitted Photo)

To date, Aazami has passed 40 tests under the U.S. Figure Skating system, including earning three golds in ice dancing, moves in the field and more recently her gold for passing her senior free skating test last December, according to a release.

Fewer than 500 members of U.S. Figure Skating pass the Senior Free Skate test each year, representing less than 1 percent of its full membership. Passing the senior test means Aazami has achieved the highest accomplishment in testing, earning the title “U.S. Figure Skating gold medalist.” “I love skating, it is an amazing feeling when I step on the ice,” Aazami said in a prepared statement. “I feel alive, my creative side comes out and it helps me express who I am.”

Olympic blood runs in the Aazami family. Merriam Aazami’s grandfather was an Olympic diver and she uses his inspiration every day when she lands her double Axel and three planned triples in her program.

“As a kid, hearing all the stories of my grandfather’s journey to the Olympics mesmerized me and I heard about his struggles and triumph and I try to relate it to my own training,” Aazami said. “I want to make my family proud and work harder than ever before to accomplish this goal.”

Once she arrives in the U.K. this September, Aazami will have to re-take a series of figure skating tests under Great Britain’s system and then compete for a spot on Team Great Britain.

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