Kevin Aymoz is a two time French Senior National Champion and Autumn Classic 2019 Silver Medallist. He has wowed audiences around the world with innovative and emotional programs and he continues to go from strength to strength, becoming one of the most anticipated skaters at every competition.
Born in Échirolles, France, Kevin started skating in 2003 and has won medals on both the junior and senior circuit. In 2017, he moved to Florida, where he now trains under John Zimmerman and Silvia Fontana.
We caught up with Kevin after Masters de Patinage to talk about his programs, his relationship with skating, and the struggles of leaving home for the pursuit of a dream.
You started this season (19/20) at Autumn Classic International where you won your first Challenger Series medal and earned all new personal bests. Does it feel rewarding that your hard work is paying off? What are your goals for this season?
First, yes, I’m really happy! This summer, my coaches (Silvia and John) really made everything to be ready for this season!!! Hard work on-ice and off-ice. So starting with a big score, gives confidence and energy for all my team (me and my coaches).
My goal last season was creating a name. This year it’s to show what I can do!! Try to get podium on both Grand Prix, FRA and NHK. Looking for European podium and to be in the top 10 at Worlds.
Last season you had great results with a 4th place finish at Europeans and attending your first (Senior) World Championships. What was that experience like and what was the biggest lesson you learned?
Last season I learned a lot of stuff and not only in skating. I just learned a lot about myself. First big season with good results and a new team, I’m still learning, but I learned a lot about being confident!!
You mentioned that for a couple of months you were very unhappy with skating. You didn’t know what your future in the sport would be. Nevertheless, you were able to skate a very successful season.
Many people fell in love with your amazing programs to Horns by Bryce Fox and In this Shirt by The Irrepressibles. What helped you regain your passion for the sport?
It’s not the fact I wasn’t in love with skating, I just wasn’t in love with myself.
For every young person you don’t know what you really want. It took time for me to know what I want, but now I know where I want to go! I don’t know where the wind is gonna push me, but I’m going!
Last season I learned about myself that skating helped me a lot to express myself (with my long program).
butterfly ?! lol… axel
A lot of competitions…I can’t think of one… Maybe my first national title (I was very happy!)
Your new programs for this season are wonderful and have also received a lot of love from figure skating fans. You mentioned how meaningful and personal last years Free music was to you. How was the process of choosing music for this season? Did you feel any pressure?
Last year I picked music that I could express in the moment. The lyrics of the song told exactly what I felt but that I could not express freely. 🙂 After the season I let go of these emotions and words through my long.
This season it’s the same, but it’s another story, and again I used my emotions and what I feel this season and right now to express something. The lyrics of Lighthouse are telling something.
Favourite program by another skater/team?
I have a lot (a LOT) of programs I like. Here are the names of skaters I love:
Yuna Kim, Patrick Chan, Gabriella and Guillaume, Florent Amodio, Paul and Piper.
Your two Grand Prix are Internationaux de France and NHK Trophy. What does it mean to you to be able to compete at such a big competition in your home country? What does it feel like to skate in Japan where there is such a huge fanbase?
I am so happy to get these two GP!
In France, it is in Grenoble, my hometown! I am happy to compete on the rink I started my first steps on ice! And I will skate infront of everyone from Grenoble; friends, family, my first coach, etc.
I’m happy to be back in Japan! I have never been to Sapporro. I can’t wait to discover a new part of the world. I’m lucky with skating that I get to travel! Japan is such nice country and the fans in Japan are amazing!!!!
You are impressing the audience with an aerial move in your short. Whose idea was it to include that and how easy was it to transfer it from floor to ice? Are you working on creating more unique elements (like the aerial move or the JZ slide?)
John and me are working hard on unique movement lol. It was an idea by John and me.
I think it took a week to get it on ice. I know how to do it perfectly on the floor so was just the moment to find my feet and balance perfectly on ice.
Yes, I have some move I am keeping for me for the moment. It is still a work in process, but we are still finding, creating, or thinking of new stuff!
Can you describe a typical on-ice training session?
For me a normal day:
3 sessions on ice at 40 minutes to 1 hour
I am doing full session in skating, long exercises working on skills, edges, and skating, choreography of programs, review every transition every day, step sequence and after spin and running some in music. (a long or short)
Afterwards a technical session, focus on jumps, and do a lot of jumps.
Last one its only programme and working on music every elements, full running or part.
And one session off-ice like stretching, yoga or gym.
Favourite way to relax after a long training day?
Best snack during training?
Protein bars, cereal bars, dry fruit, fruit like banana,blueberry,raspberry. But don’t forget the BREAKFAST before training!!!!
Before you moved to Florida your Federation was concerned about the move. In the past you had become homesick after moving to Annecy. What was it like to move to Florida? How was it different to moving away before?
I can’t explain but I feel closer to people like my family or my friends in France, when I’m in Florida rather than in Annecy. Don’t know why ….but I found a team that feels like family.
Inspirational Quote that keeps you motivated?
You do that, cause you love that.
What advice would you give young skaters who have to leave their homes to train far away?
You need to do what you really want first, and you need remember why you are doing that, and it’s just for a time, it’s not forever! And just feel lucky to move and discover another place, another culture, new people. It’s still hard for me to have distant relationships – family, friend, and love… But remember you are doing that for your skating, and and it’s important for your skating. For me (it’s really personal), I need find a place with security and people around me with special connection to me. Whatever you are doing, whatever the choice you make, wherever you are, let’s do it. Don’t be scared of people and what they are thinking, think of you first and do what you want in your heart.
How do you motivate yourself to train every day?
I just listen my heart. Going to skate is fun ’cause I love the feeling when you slide on your blade. I’m thinking of my goal, next competitions, of what I want, new moves I can do – everything i sacrifice to be here today, people I love.
Do you ever get nervous during training thinking about the next competition? And do you practice any calming/mental health techniques to mentally prepare you for competition?
I’m totally not a calm person on training lol… I’m just lucky but I know how to control the stress and I have my best friend and my coach… They helped me a lot.
You were homeschooled and picked up baton twirling because you needed something besides figure skating in your life. Singles skating can be a very lonely environment. What are you doing nowadays in your free time to get your mind off the sport and meet people? How important is that balance for you?
Yes, I find in twirling a new world, new friends, and something outside of skating. I’m so happy cause I did that in pairs with Cundy and it was so fun to do something in a team than always my single competition !!!!
And for me it’s important to have something outside of skating – other activities, people, friends, school – for me it’s really important. I wish I can go back to school and learn again (would love to take a psychology class, to learn more about interactions of people with people), have social moments with friends – like drinking coffee with friends after school on the weekends.
Favourite thing to do in Florida?
I just love the mood of Florida state
Favourite place in the world?
Anywhere, but with the people I love.
Favourite French food?
“Tartiflette”, “Bread” and ”french pastry“. But my favorite food is not french – it’s coconut shrimp !!!!!!
You’ve talked about wanting to continue in choreography when your skating career ends. Is this still something you would like to persue or do you have other plans, as well?
I would love to stay in the environment of choreography, to be a choreographer! Choreographer in dance on floor, on ice, in spectacle, in music video, have my dance class, etc etc, create my world !
Who would you consider your biggest inspiration (in skating or outside of it)? What is the biggest lesson they have taught you?
I don’t have any, but I consider everything, every person, every song, inspired me. It’s nothing and all at the same time!! Life inspires me.
Describe your perfect day from start to finish!
I wake up and have a calm morning with my love.
A good brunch! Good food and coffee.
Gonna be sunny, like a sunday morning in beginning of June. Listen to some good music. Get a walk outside. Get food and eat outside with the sun. If there a beach – walk barefoot on the sand. (If I have training, it’s gonna be an hour of skating sliding on my blade and feel that, the best feel ever when you can move !!)) Make plans with a friend. See my friend (my best one Margaux if I can). Laugh a lot !!! Have small dinner with them. Laugh again. Look at the sun going down.
Maybe dance? Go back home to see the person I love. Have a great sleep.
And you know what? The perfect day doesn’t exist, but having time or a day with the person you love has no price!
Kevin started his season at Autumn Classic International (12th-14th September) where he earned the silver medal. He is assigned to Internationaux de France (1st-3rd November) and NHK Trophy (22nd-24th November).
All photos courtesy of Kevin’s Instagram.