Second-year ranking among the world’s elite roller skaters
BY ELISE PANNEMANN / VN STAFF WRITER
At the end of September, sophomore Jyanthesh “Gene” Kalmat was in Paraguay preparing to skate in the world figure skating championship.
He qualified for the United States team by winning medals at a national competition in August.
While attending events like the one in South America is no small feat, Kalmat, a student from Detroit Mercy, is determined to achieve his goals in both his skating and his education.
Although he admits that this kind of lifestyle can be tiring, he is able to balance school and skating with a little time management.
Kalmat has been practicing roller figure skating from a young age.
âAt the start I started skating because of my fault,â said Kalmat. âI was born with craniosynostosis. It’s basically when a baby’s skull bones form too early. This limited my options on what sports I can do.
Kalmat discovered roller skating during public skating sessions at Riverside Arena in Livonia.
It was obvious to Kalmat once he found out.
âI realized I had a certain talent for the sport when I started to understand the basic concepts of weight placement and where the body is at all times,â he said. “What I mean by that is when you jump a person has to feel where they are in the air to land properly.”
The quality of the edges is also important.
âBeing able to accurately shift your weight from the outside edges to the inside edges while maintaining proper positioning or shifting the original body line, as we call it, into a difficult position,â he said. declared. âOnce I understood these concepts, my skating improved at an exponential rate. “
Kalmat is still working hard and trying to improve his skating skills, but the intensity increases when the championships go down.
âI typically spend 20 to 40 minutes a day stretching along with strength training in the gym,â he said.
Kalmat wants more people to know about figure skating and recognize it as a dynamic sport.
For anyone curious about competing, Kalmat has some tips.
âTo continue skating at the highest levelâ¦ be patient and trust the process,â he said. âNobody gets to the top overnight. Don’t slack off in training. Trust your coach and maintain good mental and physical healthâ¦ â
Kalmat is a proud figure skater – an artist in his craft.