Garden City native Erica Giarraputo, a Boston College student, recently led her synchronized skating team to the Gold Medal at the New England Challenge Cup in Massachusetts. The team was competing in the Open Collegiate bracket of the tournament.
Giarraputo, a freshman, began skating at the age of 12. “That is late for a beginner,” she said. She has certainly made up for the lost time, however, through her hard work and dedication to the craft.
“My coach introduced me to synchronized skating,” she said. “I thought it was really cool,” she added. At the urging of the coach, Giarraputo tried out for a synchronized team at Ice Works skating rink. The rest, as they say, is history.
Now in college, Giarraputo has made an impact at the collegiate level. She admits that balancing her hobby and studies can be a bit of a challenge.
“It’s definitely something that you have to stay on top of,” she said. “When you participate in competitions, they are all weekend and it is time consuming. I have to make up all the school work that I will miss. But if you make time, it is very manageable,” she concluded.
The synchronized skating season is during the winter, but Giarraputo made it clear that if you want to keep your skills sharp, it is not a seasonal sport.“Training is year-round,” she said in regards to her practice regimen.
After all, finding chemistry and cohesiveness with an entire team is much more difficult than individual figure skating that most people are accustomed to witnessing on television.The team, which is comprised of 11 female skaters, practices twice per week for a few hours before classes.
The students that live off-campus, such as Giarraputo, are brought to practice by security to ensure safety. Since she is still a freshman, she has not yet declared a major, but is leaning towards becoming an accountant. Student-athletes like Giarraputo make the community of Garden City a great place to live and they make parents proud.
“We are so proud of Erica’s dedication and commitment to skating,” said her mother Marybeth. “We have enjoyed watching her improve her skills and are so happy that she found an activity that she is so passionate about,” she added.
The Giarraputo family is no stranger to skating. In fact, they are about as connected to the local skating rinks as you could be.
“Our entire family enjoys skating,” said Marybeth. “Our oldest daughter, Brianna, was also a figure skater. Our two younger children, Joseph and Olivia, both play ice hockey.
It is only natural the family was in their comfort zone while watching Erica compete in the tournament.
“The New England Challenge Cup competition was crowded with many teams and many spectators,” she said. “It was so exciting to watch all of the teams compete,” she concluded.
Keep an eye on Erica (and her siblings for the that matter) as they are on the cusp of making an impact in the ice skating community.