Sports Editor Gabriel Lee talks to figure skater Christina Pulla about her move to Ryerson from the University of Toronto
Last January, Christina Pulla was faced with difficult decision many students have encountered: the choice between the University of Toronto, where she was a figure skater, or Ryerson University. After careful consideration, she submitted her application to Ryerson despite having to compete in two more events.
Initially, she received some flak from her teammates at U of T for the switch, but she had to do what was best for herself academically.
“I didn’t see myself going anywhere with my degree [life sciences] at U of T,” Pulla said. “I came to Ryerson for the nursing program.”
Since arriving at Ryerson in September, she has no regrets about leaving U of T. Pulla said that at U of T, the coaches of the team often neglected practice due to off-ice commitments. Pulla believes that the presence of head coach Janean Brühn at every practice helped the team’s performance immensely.
“At some practices, there wasn’t even one [coach] there,” Pulla said. “Janean and Lauren [Wilson] were at every practice, which was really motivating…it made me want to be there as well.”
The first-year nursing student also noticed that the skaters at Ryerson are more tight-knit than the team at her previous school. Two weeks ago, Pulla’s season culminated in a bronze medal at the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championships.
However her podium performance wasn’t her proudest accomplishment in her first year as a Ram. In the second competition of the year, a friendly faceoff against U of T, she skated a perfect program; something she claims she hasn’t done since 2006.
Before performing her routine at the OUA championships, Pulla was hoping she would be able to replicate her performance from the friendly faceoff on the big stage. She admits that regardless of having her routine mastered during practice, she has a habit of faltering at competitions.
“I skate clean in practice every single day,” Pulla said. “But as soon as it comes to competitions I choke and fall on jumps, I trip or something.”
According to Pulla, how you land the double axel jump determines your placing in the competition. Six out of the nine skaters attempted the jump, and the three that landed it all finished on the podium.
Pulla was one of them. Pulla still feels she can trade in her bronze medal for a gold next year if she’s able to incorporate a triple jump into her routine.
“If I had a triple jump in my program, it would trump the double axel,” Pulla said. “No one in my event this year tried it. Diane [Szmiett] won without a triple jump, so I’m assuming if someone had it they’d be able to beat her.”