Mia Kuneshita-Dowzall Axels at Figure Skating

Sophomore Mia Kuneshita-Dowzall is a talented figure skater. In this picture, she is competing at Artesia, California for her short program tango, placing first in the competition.

Photograph Courtesy of Mia Kuneshita-Dowzall

Sophomore Mia Kuneshita-Dowzall is a talented figure skater. In this picture, she is competing at Artesia, California for her short program tango, placing first in the competition.

The blades swiftly glide on the ice as the skater leans forward to perform a double axel. The graceful leap into the air is finished off with a perfect landing, amazing the crowd with its beauty and difficulty. The intricate art of figure skating is hard to master, but sophomore Mia Kuneshita-Dowzall is already showcasing her talent at a young age.

 

 

 

At age five, Kuneshita-Dowzall put on her first pair of skates and began her figure skating career. Inspired by young, renowned skater Mao Asada, a three-time World Champion, figure skating sparked a passion in Kuneshita-Dowzall. Seeing her eagerness to skate, her mother enrolled her into a four-week skating class at Anaheim Ice. Although the class was only a month long, Kuneshita-Dowzall loved the feeling on ice and immediately knew that figure skating was meant for her. “I love it because it lets me focus more on skating and just let go of everything else, especially school stress,” Kuneshita-Dowzall asserts. Her mother comments, “When I took Mia to ice skating for the first time, she was not able to even stand on the ice. However, she kept trying and eventually was able to walk on the ice by the time we left the ice rink. It seemed like she was enjoying the process of overcoming hardship and achieving something new.” From a small interest to a everlasting passion, Kuneshita-Dowzall is already skating to success.

 

 

 

After skating for ten years, Kuneshita-Dowzall works hard to soon reach the highest level in skating: senior skater. Currently a novice skater, she still has two more levels to go. In order to advance to the next level, she must be able to do the double axel, triple salchow, and triple toe loops. The jumps are advanced and difficult to master, but with the help of six coaches (her main coach, jump coach, choreography teacher, ballet teacher, and off-ice coach), Kuneshita-Dowzall is determined to perfect them. Her primary coach Kathleen McMillan states, “She performs very well in class. We are [currently] focusing on her performance skills under pressure. Her jumping skills are [also] getting better.” In a matter of no time, Kuneshita-Dowzall will surely excel to the next level and beyond.

 

 

 

Not only is she preparing to advance into higher levels, Kuneshita-Dowzall also practices daily to work on her jumps, spins, footwork, and edges for her programs. “I try to balance school school and figure skating so that I am not just figure skating [all the time]. I put in all my effort in those two hours, so even if it just a short time slot to figure skate, if I put my most energy into it, I will get the most out of it,” explains Kuneshita-Dowzall. Her hard work and dedication to figure skating is incomparable, for only true masters will put in their time to sharpen their skills.

 

 

 

Kuneshita-Dowzall has participated in numerous competitions. She started off entering in the Ice Skating Institute (ISI) competitions but as she excelled into higher levels, she entered into the United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA) competitions. Kuneshia-Dowzall has thus far reached regionals and is striving to reach sectionals or nationals in future competitions. As well as the larger competitions, she also enters into smaller competitions, placing first or second in most of them. Because of her humble nature Kuneshita-Dowzall views each competitions as a stepping stone to become better regardless of her placing. “After each competition, if I do a clean program or do really well, I feel really really happy. If I do not do well, I like to improve on that. I reflect on what I did wrong and try to improve on what I did wrong in that competition [in order] to get better in the next competition,” she states. By setting her mindset to aim for improvement, Kuneshita-Dowzall shows her dedication for the sport.

 

 

 

Besides ice skating, Kuneshita-Dowzall is also heavily involved in extracurriculars on Beckman’s campus. Her leadership skills are apparent in her daily life as well as her vast array of interests and compassion towards other people. She is a dedicated member of the Kindness Club and was recently chosen to interview for the Presidential position. In addition, she is a Year Two member of the Medical Certificate Program, to help her assist other people in the future as a doctor. Combining her love of helping others and her love of skating, she also teaches ice skating to younger children at the Learn To Skate program at Anaheim Ice every Saturday. “This teaches me leadership and responsibility which will hopefully help me in the future,” she explains.

 

 

 

In the future, Kuneshita-Dowzall plans to attend University of California, Irvine (UCI) or the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), majoring in biology to later join the medical field. She also hopes to choose a university where there is an ice rink nearby, so she can continue skating in the future. Although Kuneshita-Dowzall is not planning to become a professional figure skater, she is already axel-ing at skating and is on the right path to success.