Most of us see rollerskating as just a fun hobby. It might be something you do on a Saturday night, but not for Queensborough Elementary student Zikara Woodard.
"My heart is kind of pumping when I get ready, but I just tell myself, 'You’re ready,'" says the 9-year-old, who gets pumped up for competition with a little Justin Bieber.
The adrenaline rush and the competition are just a few things that prompted Zikara to pick up speed skating last September.
"At first it was hard, because I kept falling and getting bruised, but you get it once you start to learn and you come to practice."
Zikara races with the Shreveport-Bossier branch of the Austin Texas Speed. She's placed first in every race she's had this year.
"Before we started, I wished them good luck and have fun."
"She’s just only 9 and she loves it," Isiah Woodard, Zikara’s father said." It's a passion of hers and I'm loving every minute it."
Isiah is sort of skating legend around these parts in his own right. At the age of 9, Isiah was a national champion in his division. Now, he says his daughter is coming to take his spotlight.
"She told me, 'Dad, I hope you don't mind, but your trophies are coming down, mine are going up,' and I'm like, 'Yeah right.' But she's actually doing it and now I'm kind of nervous. Like, where I am going to put my trophies?"
Zikara added, "I wanted to try and move my dad's trophy out of the way and try to beat his time and score. He just says stay low and try your best. That's what I try to do."
"Just awesome, she's a beast when she gets on the floor," said Zikara’s coach, Angela Franklin. 'Her times. It's like she's hungry for something. I think she's after dad. I think she's after dad's medals and trophies from back in the 90s."
In two weeks, Zikara will roll into regionals with hopes of making it to the national tournament. But finishing first isn't always the first thing on this 9-year-old's mind.
"Right now it's just fun. I'm trying to be an Olympian, but now it's just fun. I'll get to that part later."
"This is something that she's very passionate about," added her father. "I’m pretty sure this won’t be your last interview with her."
"Speed skating is cool. But first when you start, don't get scared do your best," advises Zikara. "It's ok if you fall. Yyou're going to heal and that's all I got to say.”
Copyright 2016 KSLA. All rights reserved.