The Winter Olympics begin on February 3 but this is a critical week for three North Texas hopefuls.
Ashley Cain-Gribble, Timothy LeDuc and Amber Glenn are all competing in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Nashville, Tennessee.
“We’re really excited,” Gribble told NBC 5.
The athletes and their coaches say they decided over the weekend to drive nine hours from north Texas to Nashville on Monday, instead of flying.
“We didn’t want to risk COVID exposure and also with the cancellations of flights we didn’t want to risk that,” Gribble said.
A lot is on the line.
A strong showing at nationals this week could mean the athletes land a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
“Number one, we’ve got to get through nationals without a positive test. If you do test positive and you’re out, that’s it. You’re out of the selection process for the Olympic team,” said Peter Cain, coach for Gribble and LeDuc, alongside his wife Darlene Cain, coach for Glenn.
Gribble grew up in Coppell.
Her skate partner, LeDuc, lives in Dallas.
They were crowned National Champions in 2019.
The pair trains at the same rink in Euless as Amber Glenn, a Plano native, and the reigning U.S. Ladies Silver medalist.
All three are determined to capture their Olympic dreams.
“We don’t need luck or a Hail Mary to accomplish our goals. We are so prepared. Everything we have done this season has set us up perfectly,” LeDuc said.
“It’s like everything to us right now. It’s what we’ve been working for ever since we’ve partnered up, it’s been our goal together,” Gribble said.
Athletes and coaches had to pass a COVID test Sunday and must pass another one later this week.
Competition for the North Texas skaters begins Thursday.