Every year, the National Development Team invites the top performing juvenile, intermediate, and novice skaters at the U.S. Sectional Finals to the National Development Camp, which takes place right after the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in the spring, date and location to be determined.
“I am very honored to have been able to compete with some of the best guys from around the nation,” said Michael. “When I received the news, I was ecstatic and in disbelief. I felt as though all of my hard work was finally paying off.”
Michael was among the top twenty highest scorers in the country at the Novice level, which is how he qualified for this unique and exciting opportunity. At the National Development Camp, he will participate in a three-day educational training program to have the opportunity to try out for high performance programs and advanced international competitions. Additionally, he will gain exposure to Team USA. Team USA is comprised of athletes and teams who are selected by the U.S. Figure Skating International Committee and/or the International Skating Union to represent the United States at ISU events, including international events.
Michael is the first SSM figure skater to achieve this milestone. “Michael’s unique athletic talent with the ability to perform under pressure has taken him to new heights over the past two years at SSM,” said Director of the Figure Skating Center of Excellence Tom Hickey. “Within Michael’s SSM training, he has risen from a developmental athlete to a top contender at the Regional and Sectional Championships. Now, making the USA National Developmental Team, he can showcase his talents at the National and International levels.”
Michael earned his Senior Gold medals during testing in February of 2020 and has continued to work hard throughout this entire year even though normal competitions have faced many obstacles due to COVID-19. “Michael is a role model and leader that SSM takes great pride in,” said Hickey.
For a glimpse of what he and the other SSM skaters are practicing on the ice, visit the SSM Figure Skating Instagram!