John Zimmerman is an American professional pair skater. A three-time national champion and World bronze medalist with partner Kyoko Ina, he now skates and coaches with his wife, Italian national champion, Silvia Fontana. We were privileged to see John and Sylvia skate with their adorable children at Musselman’s Apple Sauce Family Skating Tribute 2016 and got to talk with John for a few moments, as well.
Kari: What is your favorite part about skating with Musselman’s Apple Sauce Family Skating Tribute and all the skaters coming together with their families?
John Zimmerman: What’s fun about the whole group is we’re all friends. We’ve all known each other and we’ve all grown up with each for so long, and here we are in our later years with our kids. It’s just a new chapter and everyone can share the stories and share your progress. It’s a lot of fun. Not all of them do exactly the skating thing, but a lot of them do the skating thing. I did not think my kids would skate, but to see them skate is amazing.
Kari: He’s [G’s] dying to get out on the ice.
John Zimmerman: I’d believe it.
Kari: And he’s taking ballet this year so he gets used to jumping, and pointing his toes and all that good stuff.
John Zimmerman: Perfect.
Kari: What is your favorite family tradition? What’s one thing you look forward to every holiday season?
John Zimmerman: Well, I think trying to take the traditions of my parents and, you know my wife is Italian, so she has traditions from there and teach our kids the different values and traditions from both cultures. Aside from just carving the pumpkin and decorating the tree, we try to work hard to instill the true meaning of all these things instead of just going to the mall and getting the last day of sales like you’re part of the Christmas spirit or whatever, you know? That’s important, the true meaning of things and the value of sharing and all that.
Kari: Do you like to cook in your family?
John Zimmerman: Well, my mother-in-law is an amazing cook and she lives with us so I leave that to her. We all have cooking times where we all play together with aprons on and be little chefs.
Kari: Oh, that’s fun.
John Zimmerman: And Sophia likes to be the waitress. She always takes your order and everything. Sometimes we take a little table and make a tablecloth and battery powered candle and make a whole little evening about it.
Kari: Oh, that’s so sweet! I love that! What is the one food you look forward to eating during the holidays? What’s your favorite holiday food?
John Zimmerman: I think my mother’s sweet potato casserole. It’s amazing. I’m always looking forward to that. My mother in law always makes an amazing lasagna. So that.
Kari: That sounds amazing! We always ask a few random questions, so clear your mind.
John Zimmerman: It’s pretty easy.
Kari: Frosty or Rudolph?
John Zimmerman: Rudolph.
Kari: Pumpkin or Apple?
John Zimmerman: Apple?
Kari: Orange or Grapefruit?
John Zimmerman: Orange.
Kari: Basketball or Football?
John Zimmerman: Football.
Kari: Yellow or Blue?
John Zimmerman: Blue.
John Zimmerman: Does that work? Is it Mad Libs?
Kari: It totally works! It’s totally random. I never know what I’m going to ask until I do it.
John Zimmerman: That’s cool.
Kari: We have a few we always ask to close it out. You’re in the car, you’ve got to get pumped up, what’s the one song you’re going to listen to?
John Zimmerman: AC/DC
Kari: Any particular song?
John Zimmerman: “Thunderstruck”
Kari: Classic choice.
John Zimmerman: All day. Everyday at the rink.
RJ: If you could be one super hero who would you be and why?
John Zimmerman: Green Lantern. He’s always sort of the underdog. I just like the green, I don’t know why.
Kari: That’s cool. We’ve never got that before!
Kari: We also ask, as a skater, what advice would you give to G if he wanted to pursue skating, or whatever he wanted to do with his life. What advice would you give?
John Zimmerman: I think what everyone else would probably tell him: that you’ve got to enjoy and love what you’re doing. First part of his life, just do what he likes to do and enjoy it, but you have to have passion for it.
Kari: Awesome! Thank you so much.
Our thanks to John Zimmerman. Make sure to catch the Musselman’s Apple Sauce Family Skating Tribute 2016 on ABC for its encore airing on December 11, and check out the great shows from Disson Skating airing throughout the winter. You can also check out our interviews with Sinead Kerr-Marshall and John Kerr, as well as our review of this fun family show!