It all started because he was allergic to outdoor mold and cats. As a way to avoid his allergens, Timothy Bergal ’22 joined a “Learn to Skate” program at five-years-old. After elevating his skills with a private teacher, Bergal realized the difficulties that arise from learning more advanced skills like jumps.
“I think the learning curve is very difficult. When you start learning, it’s very easy,” Bergal said. “But quickly, boom, it’s exponential. The difficulty picks up, and eventually, it gets much more frustrating and more difficult to learn new tricks or skills.”
However, through intense two-hour daily practices, he is able to grasp new techniques.
“It’s really rewarding to see how in comparison to the first week when I’m just struggling and saying, ‘Why can’t I land this jump? Why is no progress being made?’ over the course of several months, to being able to finally land that jump successfully for the first time,” Bergal said.
In 2018, Bergal went on to finish sixth at the U.S. Figure Skating National Championships for Juvenile Boys Freeskate. Even after this remarkable feat, Bergal is still learning each day and continues to strive for impressive accomplishments in the future, including qualifying for Nationals again this season.
“I feel like skating has really taught me to persevere even when you think something is impossible,” Bergal said.