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Skating with - and for - a big heart

Cool Kid Victoria Hecht
January 10, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
A heart problem isn't stopping this Cool Kid -- she's skating her way to her dreams.Victoria Hecht is a young girl who has overcome congenital heart defects to become a top-10 figure skater. In fact, doctors helping with her heart condition led her to the ice.

Know a deserving young adult who should be one of the ABC7 Cool Kids? Share their story and nominate someone today.

"They suggested gymnastic or figure skating. So I decided to try figure skating, and I really loved it," said Victoria. "So I wanted to do it even after my heart surgery."

But she has gone way beyond skating for fun and exercise. Now Victoria skates with a spirit that never quits.

"It's just kind of a drive that you want to get better," said Victoria. "Like, I have to land this jump, or I have to do this spin, with this many rotations -- I want to hold this for this long.

"So you kind of have to set goals for yourself, and reach those goals," said Victoria.

And she has set her sights on some very lofty goals.

"I'm going to Nationals, so I'm really excited for that. It's my second Nationals, and I'm really hoping I can make it to Worlds when I get the chance, and hopefully to the Olympics," said Victoria.

Victoria's longtime coach has seen qualities that not only will win championships, but will also get her through life.

"A lot of times things don't go the way you want them to go. She knows how to go through disappointment and shake it off and come back. Maybe it's going to take a little bit of time, but she's very positive," said coach and choreographer Faye Kitariev.

Even with her rigorous schedule, Victoria spends many hours as a junior spokesperson for the American Heart Association. That points toward her future as a heart surgeon.

"I just want to be able to help young girls and young boys. I was very sickly and I want to help children who are very sickly," said Victoria. "I want to help them recover."

Surviving cardiac surgery at six-years-old, and now showing the heart of a champion and a heart that cares for others, she is our Cool Kid.

Know a deserving young adult who should be one of the ABC7 Cool Kids? Share their story and nominate someone today.


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