Rachel Parsons (figure skater)

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Rachel Parsons
Rachel PARSONS Michael PARSONS-GPFrance 2018-Ice dance FD-IMG 5334.jpeg
Personal information
Full nameRachel Marie Parsons
Country representedUnited States
Born (1997-11-19) November 19, 1997 (age 21)
Rockville, Maryland
Home townDerwood, Maryland, U.S.
Height1.62 m (5 ft 4 in)
Former partnerMichael Parsons, Kyle MacMillan
Former coachAlexei Kiliakov, Elena Novak, Dmitri Ilin
Former choreographerElena Novak
Former skating clubWashington Figure Skating Club
Former training locationsWheaton, Maryland
Rockville, Maryland
Began skating2003
Retired2 April 2019
ISU personal best scores
Combined total180.95
2018 CS Nebelhorn Trophy
Short dance70.02
2018 CS Nebelhorn Trophy
Free dance110.93
2018 CS Nebelhorn Trophy

Rachel Marie Parsons (born November 19, 1997) is an American former competitive ice dancer. With her partner and brother Michael Parsons, she is the 2018 NHK Trophy bronze medalist, the 2018 CS Nebelhorn Trophy silver medalist, the 2018 CS Lombardia Trophy silver medalist, and the 2017 CS Ondrej Nepela silver medalist.

On the junior level, she is the 2016 Junior World champion, the 2015 Junior World silver medalist, the 2016 Junior Grand Prix Final champion, a four-time Junior Grand Prix event champion, a three-time Junior Grand Prix event silver medalist, the 2017 U.S. junior national champion, and a two-time U.S. junior national silver medalist (2016, 2017).

She placed 4th at the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics.

Personal life[edit]

Rachel Parsons was born November 19, 1997 in Rockville, Maryland.[1] She has two siblings – Michael and Katie. In 2016, she graduated from Magruder High School in Rockville, Maryland.[2]


Early years[edit]

Rachel Parsons started skating at age six because she wanted to learn how to stand up on the ice.[3] After joining the Wheaton Ice Skating Academy in June 2006,[4] she started focusing solely on ice dance. With Kyle MacMillan, she won gold on the juvenile level at the 2009 U.S. Championships and then gold on the intermediate level at the 2010 U.S. Championships.[3]

She teamed up with her older brother, Michael, in February 2010.[5] They won gold on the novice level at the 2011 U.S. Championships and debuted on the Junior Grand Prix (JGP) series in September 2011, placing 9th in Gdańsk, Poland. After taking the junior pewter medal at the 2012 U.S. Championships, they represented the United States at the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics, placing 4th. They were also selected for the 2012 World Junior Championships in Minsk, Belarus, where they finished 15th.

Competing in the 2012–13 JGP series, the Parsons placed 6th in Linz, Austria, before taking bronze in Zagreb, Croatia.

2013–14 season[edit]

The Parsons obtained silver at both of their 2013–14 JGP assignments, which took place in Košice, Slovakia, and Ostrava, Czech Republic. They qualified for the JGP Final in Fukuoka, Japan, where they placed sixth. The duo won bronze at the junior level at the 2014 U.S. Championships and capped off their season with an 8th-place finish at the 2014 World Junior Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.

2014–15 season[edit]

The Parsons medaled at both their 2014–15 JGP assignments, receiving bronze in Aichi, Japan, and silver in Zagreb, Croatia.[6] They finished as the first alternates for the JGP Final and won silver on the junior level at the 2015 U.S. Championships. Concluding their season, they placed fourth at the 2015 World Junior Championships in Tallinn, Estonia.

2015–16 season: Junior World silver[edit]

During the 2015–16 JGP series, the Parsons were awarded gold in Bratislava, Slovakia, and Zagreb, Croatia. Competing in Barcelona, Spain, at their second JGP Final, the siblings took the bronze medal behind Lorraine McNamara / Quinn Carpenter and Alla Loboda / Pavel Drozd, having placed second in the short dance and fifth in the free. At the 2016 World Junior Championships in Debrecen, Hungary, they placed first in the short and second in the free, winning the silver medal behind McNamara/Carpenter.[7]

2016–17 season: Junior World gold[edit]

Competing in their sixth JGP season, the Parsons were awarded gold in Yokohama, Japan,[8] and Dresden, Germany, both times ahead of Russia's Anastasia Shpilevaya / Grigory Smirnov. In December 2016, they competed at the JGP Final in Marseille, France; ranked second in the short and first in the free, they won the title by a margin of 0.63 over Loboda/Drozd.[9]

The following month, the Parsons would win their first junior national title at the 2017 U.S. Championships, over 11 points clear of the field. The siblings would cap off their undefeated season by winning the 2017 World Junior Championships; similar to the 2016–17 JGP Final, the Parsons won the event overall after placing second in the short and first in the free, earning an even narrower victory of 0.56 ahead of Loboda/Drozd. The Parsons earned personal bests in their combined total and free dance scores at their fifth trip to the Junior Championships. [10]

2017–18 season: International senior debut[edit]

Moving to the senior level, the Parsons debuted at the Lake Placid Ice Dance International, winning the silver medal behind longtime rivals McNamara/Carpenter, who were also making their senior debut. They then took the silver medal at the 2017 CS Ondrej Nepela Trophy, their debut on the ISU Challenger series. Assigned to two Grand Prix events, they finished ninth at Skate America and seventh at the Rostelecom Cup. They then competed at a second Challenger event, the Golden Spin of Zagreb, where they finished eighth.

Competing at the senior level at the 2018 U.S. Championships, they placed fifth, and thus did not qualify for the U.S. Olympic team. They were instead sent to the 2018 Four Continents Championships, where they finished sixth.

2018–19 season: Final season[edit]

"Skating has given me so much. I was able to travel all over the world, make so many unforgettable memories, meet the most incredible people, and compete proudly for my country. To experience all of this with my big brother by my side has been the best part. This sport has made me who I am today. I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who has supported Michael and me through the years. I want to say a huge thank you to our friends, family, coaches, everyone at US Figure Skating, our sponsors who have made this dream possible and everyone else who helped us along the way, I feel so blessed. I’m not sure what this new chapter of my life will bring, but I’m excited about the future. I’ll continue to cheer Michael on as he continues on this incredible journey for the both of us, I’ll just be rooting for him from the stands."

—Rachel Parsons, 2 April 2019[11]

After a second straight silver medal at Lake Placid's summer ice dance event, the siblings competed in three straight Challenger events, winning consecutive silver medals at the Asian Open, Nebelhorn Trophy and Nepela Trophy. At their first Grand Prix event in Japan, the 2018 NHK Trophy, they won their first and only Grand Prix medal, a bronze. At the 2018 Internationaux de France, their second Grand Prix, they finished fifth. At the 2019 U.S. Championships, the Parsons placed sixth.

On April 2, 2019, Rachel announced on Instagram that she was retiring from figure skating following a lengthy struggle with an eating disorder. Her brother Michael intended to continue skating.[11]


(with Michael Parsons)

Season Short dance Free dance Exhibition
  • Tango: Vuelvo al Sur
    by Medialuna Tango Project
  • Tango: Tango Cha
    by Sergio Belem
  • Rhumba: Mambo Molly
    by Mambo Molly
  • Slow rhumba: Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime
    by Zucchero
  • Mambo: Congo Crazed
    by Mambo Molly
  • Ghost Dances
    • La Partida
      by Victor Jara
    • Sikuriadas
      by Inti Illimani
    • Quiaquenpita
      by Inti Illimani
  • Singing in the Rain
    arranged by Sophia Sin, Alexander Goldstein
  • La Malamada
  • Palabras y Vientoby
    by Medialuna Tango Project
  • Quickstep: Funny Girl Overture
    by Jule Styne
  • Foxtrot: Funny Girl Overture
  • Quickstep: Funny Girl Overture

Competitive highlights[edit]

(with Michael Parsons)

GP: Grand Prix; CS: Challenger Series; JGP: Junior Grand Prix

Event 10–11 11–12 12–13 13–14 14–15 15–16 16–17 17–18 18–19
Four Continents 6th
GP France 5th
GP NHK Trophy 3rd
GP Rostelecom Cup 7th
GP Skate America 9th
CS Asian Open 2nd
CS Golden Spin 8th
CS Lombardia 2nd
CS Nebelhorn 2nd
CS Ondrej Nepela 2nd
Lake Placid IDI 2nd 2nd
International: Junior[18]
Youth Olympics 4th
Junior Worlds 15th 8th 4th 2nd 1st
JGP Final 6th 3rd 1st
JGP Austria 6th
JGP Croatia 3rd 2nd 1st
JGP Czech Republic 2nd
JGP Germany 1st
JGP Japan 3rd 1st
JGP Poland 9th
JGP Slovakia 2nd 1st
MNNT Cup 2nd
Lake Placid IDI 1st 1st
U.S. Champ. 1st N 4th J 3rd J 2nd J 2nd J 1st J 5th 6th
Eastern Sect. 1st N 2nd J
Levels: N = Novice; J = Junior
TBD = Assigned


  1. ^ a b "Rachel PARSONS / Michael PARSONS: 2016/2017". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on May 20, 2017.
  2. ^ Shaffer, Jonas (March 26, 2016). "Two local ice-dancing pairs back from Hungary and closer than ever". Baltimore Sun.
  3. ^ a b c d "Rachel Parsons / Michael Parsons". IceNetwork.com. Archived from the original on September 7, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Rachel Parsons". Wheaton Ice Skating Academy. Archived from the original on October 11, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Rachel PARSONS / Michael PARSONS: 2013/2014". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 21, 2014.
  6. ^ Slater, Paula (July 21, 2015). "Parsons and Parsons look to raise the bar". Golden Skate.
  7. ^ Flade, Tatjana (20 March 2016). "McNamara and Carpenter take World Junior title". Golden Skate.
  8. ^ a b Xiong, Wei (September 30, 2016). "Parsons and Parsons: "We are always trying to improve"". Golden Skate.
  9. ^ Kondakova, Anna (9 December 2016). "Parsons and Parsons capture gold in Marseille". Golden Skate.
  10. ^ Flade, Tatjana (18 March 2017). "USA's Rachel and Michael Parsons clinch Junior World title". Golden Skate.
  11. ^ a b Parson, Rachel (April 2, 2019). "I've written and rewritten this post so many times I've lost count..." (Instagram).
  12. ^ "Rachel PARSONS / Michael PARSONS: 2018/2019". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016.
  13. ^ "Rachel PARSONS / Michael PARSONS: 2017/2018". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on March 3, 2018.
  14. ^ "Rachel PARSONS / Michael PARSONS: 2015/2016". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 30, 2016.
  15. ^ "Rachel PARSONS / Michael PARSONS: 2014/2015". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on May 20, 2015.
  16. ^ "Rachel PARSONS / Michael PARSONS: 2012/2013". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on February 6, 2013.
  17. ^ "Rachel PARSONS / Michael PARSONS: 2011/2012". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on April 18, 2012.
  18. ^ a b "Competition Results: Rachel PARSONS / Michael PARSONS". International Skating Union.

External links[edit]

Media related to Rachel Parsons at Wikimedia Commons