SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga fans are well aware of Dan Dickau’s domination on the basketball court, but his ten year-old daughter Emma has chosen a different playing surface to rule.
“It feels like I am free,” said Emma of skating. “Like I can do whatever I want.”
Emma has proven that she pretty much can do whatever she wants on the ice, or at the very least whatever she puts her mind to, as she has qualified for the US Figure Skating Championships this week.
“When she did post a score that high we were all pretty excited and kind of shocked, but she was just thrilled,” said mom Heather of Emma’s qualifying performance. “That’s such big thing to get to at only ten.”
“I’m super excited,” Emma said of getting to experience nationals. “It’s a new experience, and I get to do a cool camp and have another competition.“
Emma is one of 12 girls who have qualified in her classification and one of the youngest.
There’s a reason why.
“She never gives up. She’s not afraid to fall. She always smiles. She tries to do the best she can do on every little trick. She just loves to be on the ice. She can’t get enough of it, all the time,” said coach Randy Clark.
“I like to compete and when I step on ice I feel like I can do anything, and I’m home because I’m here every day,” said Emma of why she loves skating.
That’s no joke. Morning, noon, and night, you can find Emma at the rink, which is reminiscent of a famous athlete in the family.
“Dan has friends who have said, ‘Yeah she’s got that crazy thing in her eye like he used to have,’ You can tell. She’s got that look like she’s a competitor. When she’s out there, I mean she’s ten, but she’s all business,” said Heather.
For this business trip, the goals remain simple.
“I think for me, the most important thing is enjoy it because you’ve earned it and the second is don’t back down,” said Dan. “Go out there with a ton of confidence and enjoy the moment.”
As for future goals?
Well, Emma has this all planned out.
“(I want to do this) for forever,” said Emma. “I want to be on Team USA and I want to be a figure skating coach when I’m done skating.”