Between preparing for Glasgow 2014, Commonwealth hammer champion Sultana Frizell tells SPIKES how a background in figure skating helps her understand the tutu, and avoid killing people with a wayward hammer.
“Instead of reform school… ice skating was the ticket! I competed at a regional and provincial level, so I made it to the big city! I competed until the age of 16, when Mother Nature took over and said: ‘girl, you need hips’.”
"They say spandex is a privilege, not a right. The same holds true for the tutu."
“Hips and figure skating are two things that really do not work well together. Hence, career change.
“The problem was that every year I kept on growing [Frizell is 6ft tall] and I’d go back after summer break and have to reinvent myself as an ice skater. It got to the point where I thought ‘Dude, I totally look like a linebacker compared to the other ice skaters. I don’t think skating is my calling’.
“Ice skating was great in that it replicated what I now do for a living – which is to use centrifugal forces to launch a hammer, instead of my backside, through the air.
“Figure skating gave me great spatial awareness which allows for greater ease to launch my ‘Game of Thrones’ weapon out of the IAAF certified cage, and not at the very valued spectator.”
Go figure: Frizell throwing a hammer into the air rather than herself.
“Of all the people in track and field I think pole vaulters would make the best figure skaters, because they are so flexible and they would also look much better in the outfits than, yours truly.
“They say spandex is a privilege, not a right. The same holds true for the tutu. Finding the right bum mid chomp whilst looking good competing... Well, my friends, pole vaulters, in my opinion not only have the best wedgies of any event in athletics, but they also have the calm composure to pick only after the vault is executed.
“The unspoken rule of ice skating is never ‘pick’ until after the music is off – those judges will dock style marks ever time! I deem pole vaulters the ice gods and goddesses of track and field. Their high flying acts and classy descends to earth make me long for the days of nude tights, double stick tape, and the ‘pick’... ahhhhhh.”
Torvil and Dwain: Chambers and Sultana Frizell could make a fine pair.
“Ice skating can be dangerous. I once ended up getting slashed by “Blades of Glory” across my hamstring. We were farting around on the ice before the next day’s competition. When one of my fellow skaters was performing a backwards spiral and at her high point when my back was turned leading into a lutz, which was when the skate pierced my leg. Ouch!
“Pairs dance always has a special place in my heart. I still have fond memories sitting by the TV on cold Canadian winter weekends watching Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz float on ice and wishing I had their grace and elegance.
“If I could choose someone from the world of track and field as my ice dance partner it would be British sprinter Dwain Chambers. I met him in Brazil a few years back, and we got on like peas and carrots. That guy is a character and I think we would make an awesome dance pair.”