Ice dancers Elizabeth and Jerod Swallow won five U.S. national championships and competed in two Olympic Winter Games.
In a wide-ranging StoryCorps conversation about their careers, the couple discussed the sights and sounds in an arena during a performance, as well as their upbringing in the sport and other topics.
Elizabeth Swallow was 7 when she started taking group lessons because her older siblings were enrolled. That progressed to two lessons a week and more trips to the rink on weekends before beginning to compete in figure skating. At first, she said, the arena seemed overwhelmingly big and there were times she could not hear her music or forgot her steps.
“It took a long time for me to learn to compete,” Swallow said. “You learn what’s normal and what’s natural and what’s expected and then you also learn to prepare for the unexpected, so there is less and less that surprises you as you compete.”
Listen to more of the Swallows conversation, including how they became partners – on the ice and in life — and their incredibly successful career together.