Who is hiding behind the silhouette

Amelie "Amy" Coperchini was born in Dieppe, a small town from the north of France on April 19, 1987.


She discovered figure skating circa 1993 when she went to the ice rink for a group lesson with her school. She did not knew it yet but it was be the beginning of a beautiful love story… with the ice. Her first steps on the ice where a revelation, she immediately knew that this was what she would be doing for the rest of her life. 


She kept going with her school for a couple of weeks but when the of the semester came and it was time for her class to try another sport, it was a heartbreak for her. She just wanted to keep skating so she asked her parents if she could keep taking lessons.


She went to the rink with her parents to meet the local coach who was the one who gave her class the group lessons, this one said that there was something about Amy that was worth a try. Her parents signed her for one lesson a week but they had no idea what they just started: a lifetime journey on the ice.


Amy quickly asked for more lessons and her parents agreed as she was clearly not interested into trying any other activities. She went to two lessons a week and then three. She showed the desire to start competing. Her coach explained to the parent that the rink was not offering any possibilities to practice for competition but there was an option: there was another rink about one hour drive from Amy’s parents house.


Amy’s parents discussed the opportunity and decided to give her a chance to try. They went to this ice rink in Rouen and she tried a lesson with the local skating school. Amy was nine by then and the coaches said that it was too late for her. She was really disappointed but told her parents that she wanted to do it. For her, there was no such thing as being too old. Her parents insisted and told the coaches that she would just not give up until she was given her chance. 


The coaches decided that Amy’s resilience was something that could work to her advantage despite her age. It turned out that they were right.


For a year, Amy’s parents brought her two time a week to her local rink and once a week to Rouen. She really wanted to compete and in order to do so, she had to take more lesson. Her parents could not bring her to Rouen everyday, it was time consuming. At this time, she saw her life falling apart, she just could not stop skating.


After a discussion with the coaches, it appeared that there was a solution to the problem: Amy would have to live in a foster family during the week and go back to her parents and little brother only for the weekends. She did not thought twice about it and told her parents that it was too hard for her to stop skating, that she was ready to do the sacrifice of seeing her family only once a week to pursue her dream. She was 10 years old.


For two years, Amy lived between her home and her foster family and succeeded in multiple competitions. But she discovered something new on TV, pair skating and wanted to try it. The Rouen ice rink was not offering any pair lessons, the only way to learn pair skating was to move to Paris further from her family. At this point it was clear that Amy would never give up on skating and took another big step I her life by moving to the big city.


She started pair skating at the age of 12 and love it a lot. In order to be able to go top the practice, Amy got homeschool for 2 years.


She competed with three different partners for 5 years. In the meantime, she attended the INSEP a school with special classes hours for athletes so they could keep going to school while training for their sport. She has been a boarder in this school for a year and a half. At the age of 16, Amy moved to her own studio apartment in Paris and went homeschool again for two more years. 


After her first international competition with her last partner, this one told her that he was quitting skating. Amy was alone without a partner and at 17 years old, it was not easy to find another one. She competed solo for one more year, but she realized that the expenses caused by skating started to become a lot for her parents so she looked for her first job.


Between the age of 18 and 30, Amy got multiple jobs in different place in order to pay her bills.


In 2006, she joined Reve de Glace a French figure skating shows company created by figure skater Sarah Abitbol and skated with the company as a pair, single and chorus skater for seven years. The shows were mostly during the weekends and she kept working and practicing during the week.


She started teaching in 2009 and kept doing it besides different jobs that were still paying her bills. 


In 2013 after a trip to the United States of America, Amy realized that it was not easy to make teaching figure skating a living in France and decided to try her chance in the US. 


In August 2016 after a long administrative process, she was granted a work visa for the US. In September 2016, she moved to Los Angeles. She is now a full time coach at the Los Angeles Kings Valley Ice Center and she keeps practicing everyday out of passion and in order to stay in shape.

Amy is a certified Ice Skating Institute (ISI) coach and level bronze judge.

 Ice Comedia all rights reserved copyright Amélie COPERCHINI © 2013

Last update: June 25, 2019, 9:07pm, LOS ANGELES, PDT

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