Cirque du Soleil athlete Madeline Stammen returns to figure skating after ACL reconstruction: I was thrilled that Dr. Cole was able to do my second ACL reconstruction. It is always scary putting your body, which is your career, at the hands of another. I had heard about Dr. Cole’s expertise and knew he had done other professional athletes’ knees, so I was confident my knee would be in good hands. He made me feel very taken care of and made sure he took time to answer any questions during my visits. Seven months post-op, I am still working hard to get back to skating full time. I feel confident that I will return stronger than ever by the end of the year. Thank you Dr. Cole!
Illinois native Madeline Stammen, 24, began her competitive career at the age of 8. She excelled at ice dancing and freestyle skating at a highly competitive level until she was 18 years old. After competition, Stammen was hired for her first professional show on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines performing in shows on the ship’s ice rinks. In 2016, while taking a six-month sabbatical from skating, Stammen auditioned for Cirque du Soleil: “Crystal” and landed the role of The Reflection, the alter ego of the titular character Crystal. She has since been alternating roles of The Reflection as well as main character Crystal.
On what makes Cirque du Soleil’s Crystal so unique
It’s new, it’s Cirque’s first ice show. They’ve never tackled ice or had to deal with figure skaters. I think it’s new especially because of the cultural theme between sports as far as figure skaters and acrobats. It’s a big playground, and they put us in together. Last summer, we spent a lot of time exploring and seeing what we could come up with together fusing our sports. So, it was a really cool, creative time.
On her competitive skating career and her transformation to Crystal
I had been participating professionally before this show, so I had already transitioned from competitor to performer. I did cruise ships for four years and a couple of stationary shows. That sort of primed me for this. I think the most different thing about this show was having an acrobatic element. All the other shows I did was just fully figure skating, so now all of a sudden you have chair balancers and acrobats, people who fly, people who race, and skaters and musicians as well. Just the combination of all these different types of talent is what makes this show really special.