Skating Fridays

Grand Champion!

aerial challenge

Last Friday was the viewing party for my event in the Virtual Aerial Challenge. I had no idea how many skaters were entered into my event or whom my competitors would be. All I knew was that I did my best.

I watched the live stream with my family and nervously anticipated what the judges would think. Apparently, I was the first competitor. They showed my video on the screen, and then the Zoom meeting of the judges discussing my elements. I had chosen to do a single axel, and then a single axel-single toe loop as my combination (the single jump could either be a single loop or a single axel, and then the combo could be anything up to a double salchow or double toe loop).

Judge Gale Tanger spoke about how I needed to attack the jumps more. She felt like I was hesitant on the entry (which I was) so I needed to show her that I was ready and to go for it. Judge Audrey Weisiger agreed but also commended me for being able to execute an axel jump as an adult, as it is a milestone in an adult’s (and kids’) skating journey.

Celebrity judge Frank Carroll (Michelle Kwan’s coach) had been a strict judge all evening, but he managed to give me an 8 for my first jump. National and World Champion Kimmie Meissner gave me a 9, as did National Champion Max Aaron. For my combination jump, I earned all 9s and one 8.

Three more skaters followed me, so there were only 4 of us total. One skater successfully executed a double toe loop and an axel for her video submission. However, at the end of the event, the judges placed me in first place! Holy cow! And now I am listed as the “Grand Champion” on the event page. Granted, there were just 4 of us in this event, but it’s pretty cool to be named Grand Champion of something, particularly in skating!

Here is a video!


  1. Lu Meyer
    October 23, 2020 / 2:15 pm

    Way to go, Eva! You’ll always be a champion in my book!

    • evabakes
      October 23, 2020 / 4:58 pm

      Thank you!! ❤️❤️

  2. Melissa
    October 23, 2020 / 2:46 pm

    Congratulations! That is very exciting. I love that you didn’t know your results until the viewing party with your family. That makes it so very special. You are an excellent role model for adult skaters!

    • evabakes
      October 23, 2020 / 4:59 pm

      Aw, thanks, Melissa! It was wonderful being able to share this moment with my family. They don’t travel with me to competitions, so this was an extra special moment. 😄

  3. October 23, 2020 / 8:07 pm

    Congrats, Eva. Love the bright colors you wore as well as the clean execution of your jumps! Awesome results and well-deserved award!

    • evabakes
      October 23, 2020 / 8:15 pm

      Yay – thanks, Jo! I figured pink would be good since everyone tends to wear black. 😄

  4. George A
    October 27, 2020 / 3:27 pm


    • evabakes
      October 27, 2020 / 4:49 pm

      Thanks, George!

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