Figure Skating: After a year on ice, Jordan Moeller back at nationals
By Jeff Vorva For Sun-Times Media January 16, 2013 11:08PM
Richards High School senior Jordan Moeller has qualified for the juniors competition at the United States Figure Skating Championships, Sunday through Jan. 27, in Omaha, Neb. Supplied photo
Updated: February 19, 2013 12:22PM
Thanks to coming up 1.1 points short in a sectional meet in late 2011, Oak Lawn’s Jordan Moeller missed out on competing at the 2012 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, Calif.
After qualifying as a novice for the 2010 event and as an intermediate in 2011, he had more than a year to think about it.
He had more than a year to stew about it.
And more important, he had more than a year to work hard and get better.
On Friday, the Richards senior will head out to Omaha, Neb., for the championships in the Men’s Junior Division, which takes place Sunday through Jan. 27.
He is glad to be back on the national stage after leaving no doubt by winning the gold medal in sectional action last October.
Moeller won the Midwest Sectional in Cleveland with 188.70, 26 points better than the next competitor. Out of the 12 qualifiers for nationals, the 188.70 is the third-best score behind Vincent Zhou (196.33) and defending junior men’s champion Nathan Chen (193.05).
“It was a big learning experience,” Moeller said. “I had two years of success and (the 2011 sectional) was a rude awakening for me. It was definitely a tough year for awhile. I had to accept the fact that I wasn’t going to nationals last year. I had to understand that I had to work that much harder to come back and prove to myself that I could still do it. So far, it’s worked out in my favor.”
For years, Moeller has been skating with one goal in mind — to make the 2014 Olympics.
Now that it’s 2013, it’s getting to be crunch time for those dreams. Will that 1.1-point setback be the motivating force that drives him into the Olympics? Time will tell. While he admits he has improved in 2012, he is not Olympics-ready just yet.
“I definitely have a lot of work to do,” he said. “This year I’m competing at the junior level and they pick seniors for the Olympics. I still have to go up one more level. I’ll be there next year (the 2013-14 season). I’m not totally there yet, but I will be next year.”
Meanwhile, a strong showing in Omaha could go a long way.
“I could potentially get international assignments or make Team USA. It’s got some value I guess,” he said. “There is some pressure but I try not to think about it as much. If I think about it too much, that will make it that much worse.”
After the nationals, Moeller will be involved in another project that will help kids with cancer.
He will help put together the second One Skate at a Time program to benefit Children’s Oncology Services, Inc. It will take place April 27 the Southwest Ice Arena in Crestwood. More information will be made available at a later date.
Last year’s event raised $6,600.
He brought some of the best skaters from the Chicago area and even a couple from Minnesota to put on skating show.
“It’s a totally worthy cause and it’s awesome that I could help out like this,” he said. “And the other skaters are eager to help the cause and they were happy to come down and perform.”