Maxwell continues to excel on the ice

Fifth-place finish at Final ended solid JGP Series

Angela Maxwell posted a solid fifth-place result in Goyang City.
Angela Maxwell posted a solid fifth-place result in Goyang City. (Paul Harvath)


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By J. Barry Mittan, special to
(12/18/2008) - Angela Maxwell, the 2008 U.S. junior ladies silver medalist, is one of the rising stars in the division. Before reaching the podium in 2008, Maxwell won the novice ladies title the previous year. The talented teenager also reached the national level in intermediate and juvenile girls.

Maxwell placed fifth at the 2008 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Korea. She qualified by winning a silver medal in the Czech Republic and a bronze in Great Britain.

"It was cool to make the Final," she said. "It was so cool to be there. I could have done better in my free, but I'm happy I held up."

The 16-year-old started skating when she was six. "My mom was watching skating on TV, and I saw it on TV," Maxwell said. "I thought it was really awesome, and I wanted to try it. I like to feel the music and skate with my whole heart.

"Before I started skating, I was in gymnastics," Maxwell added. "I started when I was five and stayed until I was 10. I didn't do competitions but I trained a lot. I loved to tumble.

"I was also in a dance company when I was five and six," she continued. "I did jazz and tap. We used to compete as a team, and we won some championships."

Once Maxwell gave up dance and gymnastics for figure skating, she progressed quickly. She landed a double Axel at 11 and a triple Salchow one month later.

Her short program includes a triple toe-triple toe combination, triple Lutz and double Axel. For the long, Maxwell does a triple Salchow-double toe-double loop, triple flip-double toe and triple toe-triple toe combinations. She also includes a triple flip, triple loop, and triple Lutz and a double Axel.

"I want to keep getting better and improve my jumps," she said. "I've tried a triple Axel, but I had to stop because my double Axel was getting bad. I was close to landing it.

"I've been working on triple Lutz-triple toe and triple flip-triple toe," she continued. "I've landed both combinations but not consistently.

"I want to be really consistent and strong in my mental state," she added. "I was really nervous this past season. It was nerve wracking. I need to work more on my jumps and calm my nerves."

She even gave pairs skating a try about four years ago, skating in a show with Josh Reagan. "It was a fun thing," she said, "but it didn't last long."

Maxwell moved from Texas last summer to train with Olga Orlova in Hackensack , New Jersey . "It was really a life-changing experience," Maxwell said." She skates three hours a day, five days a week but does very little off ice training.

"Olga's a really good person," Maxwell said. "She's helped me through the tough times. We have lots of fun together, on and off the ice."

Robin Wagner choreographed Maxwell's new programs for the 2008-09 season although Orlova modifies the programs as needed. "I like to skate to really original and powerful music," she said. "I like to try things that other people don't skate to."

The first part of Maxwell's short program music is "What Hands Can Do?" by Beatsucht, Florian Lakenmacher and David Paulicke.

"I saw it on a Volkswagen commercial on YouTube," she said. "It's the one with the hands making shadow play. I heard it and knew I wanted to skate to it."

The second half of the short program music is from "Masquerade" by Aram Khachaturian.

Maxwell is using the "Inuyasha Theme" from the "Best of Inuyasha II" soundtrack by Kaoru Wada for her long program. "It's my favorite anime," Maxwell sad. "I love to watch it."

"Pat Pearsall from Houston was terrific at interpreting the music," Maxwell said. "She made both the short and long program dresses for me and I absolutely love them."

Maxwell has an exhibition program to a Michael Jackson medley which includes "In the Closet", "Billie Jean," and "Smooth Criminal," choreographed by Orlova.

The 16-year-old , a sophomore in high school, is home schooled. She plans to go to college to study forensic science. "I watch all the CSI's and stuff," she said.

Off-ice, she enjoys being with friends, going to movies, play video games and shopping. "I just try to be a regular kid," Maxwell said. "I also like to watch anime and game shows on Japanese television. My mom is Japanese so we got the Japanese channel."

She also likes to play with her pets, Gizmo, a sugar glider, and her new dog, Marco. She loves animals and would like to do anything to support animal rights causes.