Good Sports: Pair of sisters gain skating fame

FRESNO, Calif.

But swapping out ice for hardwood, and blades for wheels, has a pair of Valley-native sisters taking roller sports figure skating by storm.

It's part artistic dance, part athletic skill, but whatever you want to call figure skating on roller skates just make sure you don't dismiss it as easy to do.

"People don't realize how hard this is... it's a lot of technique, it's a lot of training... in this sport you don't just make friends you make family. And so we all just become this big family," standout figure skater Mikenzie Bradshaw said.

"You can't just sit around and go to practice. It's a lot of work. And on top of that practice is all day every day. You go home tired. Really. It's not just a prissy little sport," Tayler Bradshaw said.

18-year-old Tayler Bradshaw and her 16-year-old sister Mikenzie are Fresno natives now living in the Bay Area.

In mid-June they competed in the USA Roller Sports Regional Championships at the Fresno Convention Center.

Tayler competed with a target on her back after winning the Junior World Class National Championships in Fort Wayne, Indiana last summer.

"It's fun but at the same time you know that you have to push yourself a little more to keep that title going. But it's fun. I enjoy it," Tayler Bradshaw said.

Her win allowed her to represent the United States at the world championships in Brazil - a trip she cherishes to this day.

"Brazil was so much fun. It was nice meeting all the people from all over the world... Overall it was just a really good experience because they don't treat it like they treat it over here. It's much bigger," Tayler Bradshaw said.

She set the bar pretty high for little sister Mikenzie, who just competed against Tayler in the junior competition.

"She really did, but I love skating with her because we keep each other going. But last year we couldn't be more proud of her," Patty Bradshaw, Tayler and Mikenzie's mother, said.

With two daughters excelling in figure skating, Kevin and Patty Bradshaw couldn't be more proud watching rinkside, offering encouragement at every opportunity.

"It's nerve-wracking but we're also really proud. They've accomplished a lot in the time that they've been skating," Kevin Bradshaw said.

"It's a lot of fun and it keeps us busy. We're just proud that they work as hard as they do and have accomplished what they have," Patty Bradshaw said.

Still in their teens, this Bradshaw sister act has plenty more to achieve in the future.

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