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Meet The Aspiring 12-Year-Old Emirati Figure Skater

A 12-year-old girl from the United Arab Emirates, Sara Bin Karam, has set her sights on becoming a prominent figure skater for her country after being chosen for the UAE National Team. After securing third place at the Abu Dhabi Classic Figure Skating Trophy in March, Sara expressed her determination to make a lasting impact for the UAE.

Speaking to Gulf News, she said, "With the grace of God, I hope to bring pride to my nation one day. I am delighted to have achieved my personal best score and finished third in this national championship. Although I recognize there is still much to learn, I am eager to make the most of every moment on the ice. I firmly believe that with dedication and determination, I can accomplish my goals and leave a lasting impression for the UAE in this beautiful and extraordinary sport."

Sara, who is currently in Year 7 at Abu Dhabi's Al Yasmina Academy, continued to participate in international competitions despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, she won multiple medals at the Skate Asia contest in Malaysia, and earlier this year, she achieved her personal best at the International Skating Union (ISU) event in Romania, finishing sixth overall in her category.

Sara's passion for figure skating was sparked during a visit to an ice rink. Intrigued by the sport, she spoke to her father about taking skating lessons. After some persuasion, her enrolled her in ice hockey lessons, as one of her brothers was already involved in the sport and had become “the youngest Emirati ice hockey referee.”

After a few months with the Abu Dhabi Ice Skating Club, Sara's father recognized her unwavering dedication and switched her to the Emirates Skating Club to pursue her aspiration of becoming a figure skater.

Sara invests a lot of time in her training, both on and off the ice, since she is aware that figure skating requires a certain level of physical fitness, strength, and endurance. She mostly concentrates on developing stamina since endurance building is essential for faultless performances. Sara also enrolls in classes in choreography to improve her posture and interpretative abilities. She also participates in off-ice jump training to improve her balance and build the muscle needed to do spins on the rink.

During her on-ice sessions, Sara relentlessly works to improve her jumps and spins. She has already mastered the double jump and four-level spins. Her next goal is to perfect the double axel, a jump involving multiple rotations while in mid-air, which will pave the way for mastering triple jumps. Among the various spins, her favorite is the broken-leg sit spin.

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