for Montclair Local

Isadora Williams, a sophomore at Montclair State University, is making a return trip to the Winter Olympic Games, competing for Brazil in women’s figure skating.

Williams’ Olympics will get underway in Pyeongchang, South Korea, this Wednesday, Feb. 21, when she skates in the short program. The top 24 of 30 skaters will qualify for the medal event, the free skate, on Friday, Feb. 23, and Williams said she was focused on gaining one of those spots.

Her first Olympics experience was at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, when she was 18 and became the first Olympic figure skater to represent Brazil.

“My mother is Brazilian, so I’ll be competing for Brazil and I’m honored to do so,” said Williams, who has both Brazilian and American citizenship.

Now 22, Williams has won five senior international medals, including bronze at the 2012 Golden Spin of Zagreb in Croatia and gold at the 2017 Sofia Trophy in Bulgaria.

She recently performed an exhibition for her growing fan base at Floyd Hall Arena and provided some time afterward for a meet-and-greet. Her performance drew a large crowd of spectators and well-wishers, including many of the skating rink’s staff members stopping for a good luck send-off.

“I’ve been training very hard,” Williams said, “and I feel I’m very prepared for the Olympic competition this time.”

Born in Marietta, Georgia, she lived in Brazil up until the age of 3 then returned to Georgia. After several years, her family settled in Ashburn, Virginia.

She developed her love of skating at the age of 5, when she first attended a public session at a local rink. She then began taking lessons and eventually took part in competitions as she got older.

She won her spot to compete in this year’s Olympics at the 2017 Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany, in September. The competition served as the final qualification event for the 2018 Winter Olympics. She said her first Olympics experience was a dream come true but hoped for a better placement after she competed.

“I think I was a little overwhelmed by the whole first-time Olympics experience four years ago,” she said. “I hope to do better this time. I’ve matured and I’m much more confident. I’m very excited and looking forward to it.”

Practicing countless hours at Floyd Hall Arena, located on MSU’s campus, she also juggles being a full-time college student, studying nutrition and food science. She hopes to one day become a registered dietitian.

“I would love to work with athletes,” she added. “It’s one of my career goals.”