Greek National Figure Skating Champion Dimitra Korri Makes it Work
How the two-time national champion juggles work, independent film projects, and an elite level figure skating career.
By Dimitra Korri
Transitioning from girlhood to womanhood is never easy. Navigating this change while pursuing two college majors and a minor, working part-time, and training several hours a day to compete at the elite level of my sport made it even more challenging.
Competitive figure skating was my first love and I was not ready to give it up when I became a college student at Loyola University Chicago. I was determined to become the Greek national figure skating champion and no amount of classes, homework, or exams was going to stop me. The fact that my college campus did not have an ice rink did not deter me from training, although it did make it more difficult and required a new level of time management. I accepted the challenge and was determined to, as Tim Gunn from Project Runway would say, “Make it work!”
I strategically picked my classes and tailored my schedule around skating, but with the hectic lifestyle of juggling my studies, work, and training, following a meal plan was the last thing on my mind. As a kid I used to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and it virtually had no physical effect on me. However, as a woman trying to maintain an elite athlete’s physique, I quickly realized that was no longer the case.
I decided I needed to make a change and consulted with coaches and personal trainers who helped me put together a plan that allowed me to take charge of my physique and helped me better work towards my goals of qualifying for the European and World figure skating championships. We talked nutrition, conditioning, weight lifting, cardio, recovery, and most importantly, how to balance it all out while working and going to school.
I started doing both on and off-ice training during the week and added weekend workouts to my routine as well. I made healthier meal choices that included more lean meats, fresh fruits, vegetables, and other complex carbohydrates. Aiming for eight to ten hours of sleep and remembering to stay hydrated definitely helped me too.
After just four weeks of adopting this new regimen, I looked and felt like a different person. The discipline it took to follow this plan helped take my mental toughness to the next level. I started training smarter, not harder. I did fewer but better quality repetitions of different exercises both in the gym and on the ice. When I focused on quality instead of quantity, I saw better results. The journey to becoming the current Greek national champion taught me the importance of discipline, healthy living, motivation, commitment, and perseverance. These are all characteristics that I will strive to maintain for the rest of my life. I learned that fitness is not just about going to the gym to complete a workout or going to the rink to skate, it is a way of life.
Dimitra Korri is a two-time Greek national figure skating champion and holds three Greek national speed skating records in 500m, 1000m and 1500m races. She has two bachelor’s degrees in International Film & Media Production and Communication Studies with a minor in Spanish from Loyola University Chicago. She speaks fluent English, Greek, and Spanish. Korri is an independent filmmaker, writer and director of photography who also enjoys singing, playing the piano, and composes her own music in her free time. For more updates on Korri’s creative endeavors follow her on Instagram @Demetrasaur and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DimitraKorri/
*Photo Credit: Luca Tonegutti