Breaking News
More () »

Brunswick duo brings home Pan-Am Championship gold medals in roller figure skating

Winning gold earned Susanna Spatz and Michael Slowey a spot in the World Skating Championships in Buenos Aires next month.

BRUNSWICK, Ohio — The sound of resin wheels rolling on the parquet floor echoes inside Brunswick Skate Station like a jet engine. Susanna Spatz and Michael Slowey are championship caliber roller skaters for Team USA. 

"We are the Pan Am Champions in Artistic Roller Figure Skating," Susanna explains. Her partner Michael adds, "specifically, the pairs division."

Their journey to become pairs champions started four years ago, and they've been earning lots of hardware along the way. Most recently, the duo brought home gold from Cancun, Mexico. 

"Everybody is really happy for us. It's a great title to bring to the rink here," Slowey says.

Roller figure skating and ice skating each have their own challenges. Both sports take strength, endurance, balance and coordination. The skaters practice for about 25 hours a week. 

"I think it's harder because the wheels, they weigh you down, and then you're dealing with four wheels instead of just one blade," Susanna says. 

"We use the edges on all sides of the wheels, the heel brake, the toe brake, and we really have to put a lot of pressure in the floor when we are doing spins," Michael adds.

Roller figure skating is not recognized as an Olympic sport, but it has worldwide appeal. The teammates will be headed to Buenos Aires, Argentina for the World Championships next month (October 24). 

Susanna says the competition will be tough. "There's going to be countries from all over the World. Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Italy, Spain." 

The pair have worked hard to get to this level and have a shot at being world champs. And that's no stretch. 

"Not many people can say they have an international title," Susanna says.

Both are proud of their victories and are ready to rise to their next challenge. 

"A lot of hard work goes into it and it's finally starting to pay off," adds Slowey.

More from Carl Bachtel:

Before You Leave, Check This Out