Skating sisters move to Tahoe to fulfill goals |

Skating sisters move to Tahoe to fulfill goals

Charles Bobo

Provided to the Tahoe Daily Tribune. Sisters Tosha Hanford, 17, left, and Marie Hanford, 16, are standout skaters in Lake Tahoe.

Tosha and Marie Hanford moved to Lake Tahoe from Elk Grove three months ago to train with Team Galindo, the brother and sister duo of Rudy and Laura Galindo. Rudy is a former World Champion and is entering his 10th year with Champions on Ice. The move to Tahoe to train with the Galindos is paying big dividends for the Hanford sisters, as they qualified to compete in the United States Figure Skating Association’s Regional Competition in Salt Lake City, Utah, in October.

The older sister, 17-year old Tosha, skates in the Senior Ladies division and took the bronze in Salt Lake City, which qualified her for Sectionals Competition in Roseville, Calif., Nov. 16-18. Tosha placed seventh at Sectionals, a good placement considering it’s her first year in the Senior Ladies division. The younger sister, 16-year old Marie, skates in the Junior Ladies division and placed second alternate at the Regional Competition in Salt Lake City.

The two sisters began figure skating in Idaho 10 years ago and in 2000 moved to Elk Grove, just south of Sacramento. In April, the sisters began commuting to Lake Tahoe five days a week to train with Rudy and Laura Galindo.

The girls’ parents, Curtis and Tisha Hanford, drove their daughters on the four-hour round trip, leaving home at 4 a.m. to begin training at the South Tahoe Ice Arena by 6 a.m. In September they felt it was best to move to Lake Tahoe. Tosha and Marie are home-schooled, which provides the flexibility to train at will and live wherever it is necessary to receive the best coaching. The sisters are top-notch students and are ahead of schedule to graduate high school.

Figure skating can be a very isolating sport and requires tremendous commitment and hard work to realize even minimal success. The Hanford sisters take it all in stride and approach it with tremendous maturity not often found in teenagers.

“Skating is amazing. It has everything, the whole package of patience, self-reliance, and focus,” Tosha said as she removed her skates after an early morning training session.

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“It’s hard to enjoy when you spend so much time falling. But when you finally land that jump for the first time, it’s worth all that pain,” Marie said.

And these girls jump a lot: launching themselves into doubles and triples is part of their daily routine.