When 11-year-old South Hamilton figure skater Carly Jennings headed home from the 2011 Bay State Winter Games in Williamstown, she had a medal for each front pocket.
Jennings took home the gold medal in the Female Freestyle Bronze event, 11-14 year old division earlier this winter to cap off a great weekend on the ice.
The sixth grader picked up a silver medal to start off the games on Friday in the Female Artistic Freestyle event.
“I’ve won gold medals in events before, but it’s always very, very exciting to win an event,” Jennings said. “It’s very satisfying to win, I sacrifice a lot to compete, but it’s worth it.”
Jennings has done a complete turnaround in attitude when it comes to figure skating.
“I was about three when they (mom Lynne and dad Ronald) put me in a learn to skate program, and I wasn’t too happy about it at all,” Jennings said.
“I started to like it after a few lessons and I got better at it, and I really started loving it when I started winning some competitions,” Carly said.
Jennings and her teammates call the Talbot Rink in Gloucester home, and she loves to skate in Peabody at the as well.
“I love when I’m skating and I feel the wind on my face, it’s awesome,” Carly said. “I want to improve, keep competing and take my skating to a new level every year.”
Carly’s 13-year-old sister Laura recently started competitive figure skating, and has fallen in love with the sport after watching Carly enjoy it for the past seven to eight years.
“My mom has been my biggest influence, my biggest supporter, she’s been great for me,” Jennings said. “Some mornings it’s hard to pull yourself out of bed to get to practice, but I do it, I know it has to be done.”
Jennings is an honor student who loves science and English; she also plays a lot of soccer for fun in the summer when she’s not competing on the ice.
“There’s a lot of sacrifice that goes into being a good figure skater, but I’ve made a lot of great friends who encourage me and support me,” Jennings said.
Jennings won the gold skating to the theme from Beauty and the Beast and pocketed the silver performing to Queen’s Somebody to Love.
“I’ll probably skate to the same songs in San Diego, you try to pick songs that show that your graceful,” Jennings said. “But I like to pump it up with some hip-hop, something with a good beat.”
With her gold medal performance last month, Jennings has qualified for the California State Games in San Diego this coming August. The next big event is a skating exhibition with the Cape Ann Figure Skating Club at the Dorothy Talbot Memorial Rink in Gloucester on May 22.