When Sarah Meier was growing up, it had been nearly twenty years since her native Switzerland produced a champion figure skater. That would be Denise Bielmann, who had the eponymous spin named after her and who captured the world championship in 1981. The country had produced dozens of world-class skiers and dominated the snow, but not the ice.
|Meier at the 2002 Olympics|
By age 17, she had competed in her first Olympics and placed 13th. Her career started to peak in 2006, when she finished 8th in the Olympics, 6th at the world championships and captured the bronze medal at the prestigious Grand Prix Final, behind the future Olympic gold and silver medalists Yuna Kim of South Korea and Mao Asada of Japan, both of whom were making their senior debuts after years of conquering the junior ranks. In the next two years, Meier went on to win the silver medal at the European Figure Skating Championships and was a fixture on the international competitive scene.
|Meier at the 2010 Olympics|
Meier persevered for just one more competitive season, vowing to end her career by winning the Europeans, which were set to take place in January 2011 in Bern, Switzerland. Meier decided it was appropriate to end her career where it began, on home soil, and make it a farewell performance. You can see her performance and the end result after the jump:
|Meier with coach Eva Fehr, finding out she's become European Champion|
A year after her victory, Meier continues to be involved in the figure skating world. She is a talent director for Art on Ice (no relation to this blog) and skates in a number of shows, including fellow competitor Yuna Kim’s All That Skate spectacular. Except now when she skates, she is a headliner and will forever be billed as “European Champion Sarah Meier”. It’s like when they add “Oscar winner” to an actor’s name: no one will ever take it away. You can still her perform, albeit mainly in Europe, in a number of shows.
And with that, dear reader, please remember this story the next time you decide to give up on a New Year’s Resolution and ask: What would Sarah Meier have done?