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FIT is home to talent of many stripes. One such stripe, apparently, is figure skating. Kevin Coppola, International Trade and Marketing ’13, took home first prize at the U.S. Figure Skating Collegiate Championships in August.

Hue is doing triple axels in the office.

Kevin Coppola, figure skating champion

Kevin Coppola skates for the win. Hue wishes more people had come to watch.

Coppola skated two programs, one to the music from Requiem for a Dream, the other to Children of Dune. His total score was 113.42, light years ahead of the second place senior man, who earned a 78.99.

The numbers are equally impressive on the academic side: he’s a Presidential Scholar with a stellar GPA.

He’s been skating since he was five, though he retired in high school after fracturing his hip bone. He shed his Olympic dreams and focused on his academics.

“If you get hurt and take time off, there’s no way to catch up again,” he says.

Like Cher and Michael Jordan, however, he didn’t stay retired for long: When he came to FIT, he decided to give skating a go once more.

“At first I thought I was going to be fine with moving on,” he says. “But I felt like I wasn’t finished with it yet.”

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YouTube Direkt (This is Coppola’s long program, set to the Children of Dune soundtrack. Skip ahead to 00:50 to see the beginning.)

These days, he wakes up at 5 am four days a week and buses an hour out to Hackensack to practice for three hours. On the weekends, he coaches kids to help pay for school.

Already he can land four triple jumps: the triple Salchow, triple toe loop, triple loop, and triple flip. He’s working on his triple lutz. The famed triple axel, which is actually 3.5 turns, isn’t in the cards right now.

“To learn triples, one jump can take up to a year,” he says. “It’s really a lot of practice.”


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