Charlie Perkins, 15 year-old figure skater from Farmington, Connecticut, is the youngest competitor representing the United States at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Wilhelmina Perkins, Charlie’s mother, said Charlie couldn’t do an interview because of his practice schedule, but she wants everyone to know how well-rounded and fulfilling her son’s life is, despite his strenuous training.
“Charlie is a fantastic kid with loads of friends and an active social life,” Wilhelmina said. “He takes his skating seriously, but we don’t push him to do anything he doesn’t want to do.”
Charlie started figure skating at six months old, when he began to crawl. His parents had skates custom-made to fit his hands and knees. He began official lessons at age one and landed his first triple axel at age three. He is homeschooled so he can complete 12 hours of practice each day.
“Charlie loves practicing so much that we basically have to drag him off the ice every night,” Wilhelmina said. “I keep track of his social calendar to make sure he’s spending enough time with friends and living a normal high school life, though.”
Wilhelmina listed Axel Billingsby as Charlie’s best friend.
“Charlie hasn’t been to my house since I quit the skating team in second grade,” Billingsby said. “I go to his birthday parties, but they’re all at the rink, and his mom doesn’t let him eat cake. Sometimes, I bring food to the rink for him, and his mom lets us eat one bite for every seven run-throughs of his routine.”
Meryl Davis, Charlie’s coach, said she is worried about Charlie’s health.
“When I suggest that he take a break, Charlie often flops himself onto the ice and crawls to the gate like a worm,” Davis said. “Then, his mom squirts a mixture of coffee, Gatorade and Adderall into his mouth and sends him back out.”
Charlie agreed to answer a few questions while taking off his skates last night at 2 a.m. We asked him how he felt about being the youngest Olympic competitor.
“Skate good, axel on ice for gold yum yum,” Charlie said. He then flopped onto the ground.