YARMOUTH — Franz-Peter Jerosch took leaps and bounds towards his dream of becoming an Olympian last month, winning gold at the novice level in the Eastern Sectional Figure Skating Championships.
On Dec. 29, Jerosch and his skating partner, Jade Hom, will make the trip to San Jose, California, for their biggest competition of the year – the U.S. National Figure Skating Championships.
Representing the North Atlantic Figure Skating Club in Falmouth, Jerosch has been skating since he was 5 years old.
He said he remembers Thursday afternoons in preschool, watching his classmates swim in the Bowdoin College pool while he looked on from the sidelines. He had ear tubes at the time, which restricted him from joining in the fun.
When a friend of his mother suggested he try out a skating class that took place at the same time on Thursdays, Jerosch became hooked.
“I saw the skaters jumping and spinning on the ice and that’s how it all started,” he said Dec. 15.
Now 16, Jerosch left Yarmouth High School at the start of the school year to take classes online through Maine Connections Academy, which gives him more flexibility for his training schedule.
Hom, a 14-year-old from Southborough, Massachusetts, represents the Colonial Figure Skating Club in Boxborough, where she an Jerosch train during the week.
Jerosch and Hom paired up after Jerosch split with his former partner last February.
“I’ve been trying to find the right (skating partner) for a while and (Hom) is it,” Jerosch said. “We have the same work ethic. She works extremely hard on and off the ice (and) our skating style is the same.”
“We have very similar minds, ideas, and opinions and we’re able to share them which makes our relationship very easy,” Hom added.
Along with similar skating styles, Jerosch and Hom share the common goal of competing in the Olympics.
The 2018 U.S. Championships serve as the final qualifying event before selecting and announcing the U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team that will represent Team USA at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. According to Jerosch, if he and Hom place first, second or third in San Jose, they’ll be selected for Team USA.
They’ll be skating to “The Story of My Life” by The Piano Guys on Jan. 1 and a selection of songs from “Pocahontas” on Jan. 2.
Just two weeks before the competition, Jerosch said he was feeling confident. This will be his fifth time competing in nationals; he placed second in 2016 and 2017. This will be Hom’s first time competing at nationals, an opportunity she said she is extremely excited about.
“Right now, we’re just taking things one step at a time,” Jerosch said. “But we’re hoping for gold this year.”
He and Hom are one of 14 teams of 15- to 20-year-olds competing at the novice level.
“It’s so nerve-wracking, but it’s awesome being around all of the other athletes,” Jerosch said. “Every year you tend to see the same people at nationals. It’ll be great to see everyone again. We try to keep it pretty calm even though we’re competing against one another.”
Franz-Peter Jerosch, of Yarmouth, and his partner Jade Hom, of Southborough, Massachusetts, will compete at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, California, on Dec. 29.