MINOCQUA - Every four years, winter sports gain popularity during the Olympics. For two weeks, athletes show the world what they can do. The skaters from the Lakeland Figure Skating Club aren't in the Olympics, but they've spent months perfecting their routines for a showcase this weekend.
Ice skating has been a lifelong passion for Raven Carufel.
"I originally saw the Disney movie Ice Princess and my parents got me a pair of skates for Christmas and it's been history since then," said 16-year-old Carufel.
Now, she skates at the Lakeland Hawks Ice Arena to improving her skills and move up levels. Advancing is a big part of the sport. But skating also serves as a stress reliever.
"I feel so confident when I'm on the ice it's kind of a release for everything in life," said Carufel.
Carufel and the other skaters are preparing for the Lakeland Figure Skating Club's Ice Show this weekend.
Skaters of all ages and skills levels show off their routines.
"This is the only show I do out of the year, otherwise its mostly training for competing," said 17-year-old Lainie Kuckkahn.
Lakeland Ice Arena is home for Kuckkahn. She also travels all over the state and country to compete.
"Right now my goal is to pass all my free skates and also continue competing and hopefully get a few higher scores," said Kuckkahn.
These skaters spend weeks, months, and even years practicing. But every four years, their sport comes into the spotlight in the Olympics. They get to watch some of their favorite skaters perform.
"My favorite skater is Evgenia from Russia," said Carufel.
"I've always really liked Mirai Nagasu, so I was really happy when she landed her triple axel this year in competition."
Watching their favorite athletes on TV gives young skaters some extra motivation to keep getting better.
"Just seeing that strength they have kind of inspires me to strengthen my own skating," said Carufel.
"It makes me feel good because sometimes I want to be in the Olympics. I kind of imagine me and my group being in the Olympics having just fun," said eight-year-old Addison Nelson.
The shows will be held on Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Lakeland Hawks Ice Arena in Minocqua.