South Florida figure skater hopes to make Olympics

Andrew Torgashev is reigning US Junior Figure Skating Champion

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. - A sixth grader from Coral Springs is the reigning U.S. Junior Figure Skating Champion, and hopes to compete in the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea in 2018.

Andrew Torgashev, 11, began skating when he was four. He's the son of Ilona Melnichenko and Artem Torgashev, two former competitive skaters.

His mother doubles as his coach.

"She works me hard and I like it because I don't like the people who are soft. Then you don't get anywhere," said Torgashev. 

"We have a challenge to understand that he's the student and the son. So we have to balance it. We are learning and he's learning," said Melnichenko.

Torgashev has won the U.S. Figure Skating Champion two years in a row. He nailed three triple jumps in last month's competition.

"Everybody knew all ready and I got a bunch of congratulations right when I saw my friends," he said.

Championships aren't new to the Torgashev family. Melnichenko was a World Junior Champion Ice Dancer for the Soviet Union in 1987.

But her son wants to do better.

"I would like to go to the Olympics in 2018," said Torgashev.

To get there, Torgashev practices three days a week before school. After classes, he heads to the gym for conditioning or gets back on the ice.

"When you start learning them, you have no clue what you are doing and after awhile, you start getting the feeling and after awhile, after that, you start landing it," said Torgashev.

Torgashev attends North Broward Preparatory School, where he is an A and B student.

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