Spotlight on Tiffany Yu
An Unseen Skaters special. January 9, 2005.
Tiffany Yu, 15, has qualified for 2005 Nationals in Novice Ladies by placing 4th at Southwest Pacific Regionals and 2nd at Pacific Coast Sectionals. She represents the All Year FSC and trains in Riverside and Lakewood, California, respectively, with her coaches Tammy Gambill and Sondra Holmes. Phillip Mills is her choreographer.
How would you describe the feeling of qualifying for "big" Nationals for the first time?
It is so exciting to have qualified for Nationals. I cannot wait to skate at Nationals.
When and how did you begin skating?
I was about seven years old when I started skating, and I went to my friend's birthday party and fell in love with ice skating.
What has been the most memorable moment in your skating career so far?
Probably the chance to skate at Nationals.
What has been the biggest challenge or disappointment that you have overcome in
your skating career?
The biggest challenge I had to face in my skating career was myself. In competition, I would struggle with consistency. One competition I would be nervous, the next I would not.
Do you have an embarrassing moment in skating that you're willing to share?
When I was competing at the 2002 Southwest Pacific Regionals, I was doing a spiral and I leaned too far over and I fell right on my face.
How long have you been working with your current coach, Tammy Gambill, and
How would you describe her respective coaching style or philosophy?
I have been taking from Tammy for a little over a year. I really enjoy it with her. She pushes me to be better every day. Tammy makes me feel like if I really want it, I could get it -- I just have to believe in myself.
What music are you using this season?
Short Program - “Classical Gas” by Vanessa Mae.
Long Program - The Mummy by Jerry Goldsmith.
Who choreographed your programs?
How important are choreography and presentation to you as a skater?
It is very important to my skating. Phillip, Tammy, and I work on expressing every moment in my program.
How have you improved as a skater since last year, when you placed 8th in Novice at Southwest Pacific Regionals?
This year I have more of the whole package. When I skate my program, I enjoy my programs more.
Was there one competition in which you performed well that helped build your confidence this season? If yes, which one and please explain why.
Actually, there were two competitions that help build my confidence. At the 2005 Southwest Pacific Regionals, I skated a clean short program, and placed very well. My coaches said that if I “did what you know how to do, everything else will just fall in place.” At the 2005 Pacific Coast Sectionals, that saying was proved once again. I skated a clean short and a strong long and had a spot to Nationals.
How would you assess/describe/compare your performances at Southwest Pacific Regionals (4th) and at Pacific Coast Sectionals (2nd)?
My performances at Regionals were pretty good. My short was one of the best programs I skated throughout the year, and my long needed a little bit of work on endurance and stamina. I felt that I need more movement in my program. At sectionals, my short was also really good, and my long was an improvement from Regionals. There was more expression, and a strong ending.
Will you be making any significant changes in your programs for Nationals?
No, my programs at Regionals and sectionals were really strong. If I just do skate the way I know how to, I will be fine.
[Editor’s Note: Here were Tiffany’s jump elements at Pacific Coast Sectionals:
(SP) 2axel, 3salchow-2toe, 2loop; (FS) 2axel, 3salchow-step-2toe, 3toe(fall), 2lutz-2toe, 3salchow, 2loop, split jump-hop-2flip.]
What are your goals for Nationals in Portland? Long-term skating goals?
My goal is to have no regrets after I skate my long on Monday. I want to know that I have done my best, and worked the hardest I could have. My long-term goal is to make it to the 2010 Olympics, and place in the top three.
What do you consider to be the strongest and weakest aspects of your skating?
The strongest aspect of my skating is the love I have for it. The weakest is my confidence level, which has gotten better this year.
What is your current favorite jump, spin and connecting element to do?
My favorite jump is triple salchow; my favorite spin is the layback with the leaning over to the side; and my favorite connecting element is the [Ina] Bauer.
What person or persons has/have had the greatest influence on your skating?
My parents and coaches -- they have always supported and guided me to be the person that I am today.
Who are your favorite skaters and why?
Michelle Kwan is my favorite skater. I have seen over the years, and even though she has not won the Olympics yet, she keeps on trying.
What is your current schooling arrangement, grade, favorite and least favorite subject?
I am currently going to Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo. I usually go to school Monday thru Friday. One Mondays, I have classes from 8:10 a.m.-1:40 p.m., and Tuesday through Friday, I have classes from 6:55 a.m.-2:40 p.m. My favorite subjects are math and chemistry, and my least favorite subject is history.
What are your goals beyond skating?
My goals beyond skating are finishing school, going to college, and getting a job that I really love to do.
What do you like to do for fun away from the ice? What are some of your hobbies and interests?
I love shopping and going out with my friends. I to go to theme parks because of the roller coaster -- I like getting the rush that you get on them.
Do you have any similarly athletic siblings?
No, my brother is more into his studies.
What do you like the most about skating that motivates you to keep going
day in and day out?
Competing, and the fact that you can learn something new every day.
Name: Tiffany (Tippy) Yu
Date of Birth: June 29, 1989
Place of Birth: Monterey Park, CA
Height: 5' 4"
Hometown: Mission Viejo, CA
Training Towns: Riverside and Lakewood, CA
Home Club: All Year FSC
Coaches: Tammy Gambill and Sondra Holmes
Choreographer: Phillip Mills
Headshot courtesy of Tiffany Yu. Skating photograph courtesy of and copyright © Dave Amorde. Skate photograph copyright © Dave Amorde. Unless otherwise noted, all content is copyright © 2000-2005 Unseen Skaters. All Rights Reserved. Do not reproduce elsewhere without permission.