My Way: Skater Matt Evers on how he became successful
'Roadblocks? Go over them or under them'
Thursday 15 May 2008
Matt Evers, the American figure skater and broadcaster, is on tour with ITV's Dancing on Ice 3
What did you want to be as a child?
A weatherman or newsreader. I was the first generation with cable TV and, while my friends watched cartoons, I loved the weather channel and CNN.
What did you realistically think you'd end up doing?
Well, I do presenting as well as skating, but I was deterred from becoming a weatherman because you need a degree.
How did you get into skating?
My grandfather had a farm and he used to flood the back pasture before a freeze and we would skate on it as children. I started skating lessons at the age of nine. It wasn't until I won my first national competition that I thought I could make a living from skating. Once I experienced world level, in 1998 when I won the US Junior Pair Championship with Heather Allebach, I thought: "Wow, this is a career!" It was then that doors really opened.
Did you go to university and was it worth it?
I went to the University of Delaware where I did figure skating. Delaware had the best coaches and it was worth every penny.
Do you consider yourself successful?
Yes, but there is room for more.
When did you first realise you were a success?
My parents spent a lot of money on my career and I always felt guilty about the bills. When I was doing the Australian Dancing on Ice 2, I paid off all my debts and managed to give my parents a sizeable amount of money to repay them, not that they expected it, but it was proof of my success.
What qualities have made you a success?
I'm a survivor and an adaptor; I grew up in a divorced home, my father remarried, and I lost my mother to cancer when I was at high school. I left home at 17 and there were times when there were only pennies in my bank account.
What's your advice to budding skaters?
Don't give up. You will find a lot of roadblocks on your way; go over them or under them, but never give up.
What motivates you?
There are days when my body doesn't want to do something, but you have to shut your brain off and go out and do it. I find my motivation in music. If you put on techno very loud it gets you going.
Who are your heroes?
Jayne (Torvill) and Christopher (Dean). To be friends with them is surreal. Also the late ABC broadcaster Peter Jennings.
What's the best perk of your job?
Travel and meeting people. You can meet people in your back yard, but to meet people on the road is incredible.
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