on Team USA
At the age of 13, Shauna McCullough of Seymour is the youngest member of the United States In-Line Skating World Team.
This month, she won the Senior World Class In-line Singles Event at the National Championships in Lincoln, Neb.
Shauna was five when she began skating. Both her parents, Vicki and David McCullough, skate. “She’s basically been on them since she could walk,” said Vicki.
This year Shauna competed in four events. She usually averages about four or five each year. Her artistic skating ability is so good that she is among other skaters as old as 23 on the World Team.
Shauna is very excited about making the team. In-line skating is something that she loves to do.
“It’s kind of cool because you always see people doing it on ice skates or on quad skates,” said Shauna.
She has won Nationals six times in different events. There are a variety of events at Nationals, some of which include dance, figures, loops, freestyle and creative solo. This is the second year Shauna has won the in-line event. “She is a part of Team USA and she will represent us in the World Championship,” said Vicki. The World Championships will take place in November in Fresno, Calif. The Championships are usually held over seas. Last year they were held in Italy. “It’s great to be able to represent the U.S. right here in the U.S.,” stated Shauna.
Because she already had teaching experience in skating, Vicki was a natural pick to be Shauna’s trainer.
“She drags me to the rink,” said Vicki. “When I want a day off, I don’t usually get one.”
Shauna practices six day a week, either at Tennessee Valley in Knoxville or Skate Town in Johnson City. She averages two to three hours of training each day, six days a week. “It’s lot of work but it’s fun,” stated Shauna. “And I’d like to get stronger.” She focuses on specific exercises instead of lifting weights.
Shauna takes a lot of pride in her skating and puts a lot of time and effort into it. “She wants to do everything right all the time,” said Vicki. “She trains off skates as well as on.”
Shauna is also a cheerleader at Seymour Middle School, has good grades and is a member of the BETA Club.
The well-rounded student/athlete has made it to the top. She is in the senior division, which is for ages 12 and up. Plus, World Team is as far as you can go since in-line artistic skating is not an Olympic sport. So far, she has competed in New York, Florida and Texas. She also competed in California, where she lived before moving to Tennessee two years ago. “She hasn’t given me indication that she’s done yet,” said Vicki.
“Competing is the most fun part of the whole thing,” stated Shauna. “”It’s cool having my mom as a coach because she helps me better and we can go practice whenever we want – we just work around each other’s schedules.”
She also likes the outfits she gets to wear. “We have a dressmaker in California. When we lived in Tracy California she used to make my dresses for me and she keeps making them now that we live in Tennessee.
While most kids enjoy the occasional cheeseburger and chocolate bar Shauna is on a special diet. “She’s on the Olympic diet,” says Vicki. “Because there are certain foods that can set off drug tests such as chocolate, caffeine, colas, and medicines like Sudafed. Most of the school lunches are safe for her to eat. She’s learned what she can’t eat. At least when she’s competing!”
Shauna says she’d like to continue skating. “Roller-skating isn’t in the Olympics yet but they are trying to get it in, stated Shauna.
Vicki talked about Shauna going to the world championships with anticipation. “I’m excited for her. But I hope it doesn’t put too much pressure on her to continue to do the same thing,” said Vicki. ”She works very hard and she deserves it.”