Get to know Romania’s Julia Sauter. A strong-willed, self-made skater


Julia Sauter: short program in Montpellier, in March 2022. And the photo says it all: she was thrilled to be there and she was going to enjoy it to the fullest.

How did that unfold?

Julia’s second senior Worlds – the one she tried so hard to reach and have the season closure she needed after so much hard work – and her best result at Worlds so far?

The beginning wasn’t at all promising, Julia smiles.

“The week before Worlds, I was a nerve-wrecking ball!

I had a very full week at work, my husband started the play-offs, and I had to deal with everything! I was so emotionally overwhelmed by my outside life that my training wasn’t going well, because it was just too much.

But I knew I was ready, I was in a very good shape – I could feel it!

And we came here, and my trainings weren’t great either.

I knew I was able to do it, but I think I was recovering from the week before. Plus: in Ravensburg we have a very hard ice, it’s a hockey ice – and here, in Montpellier, at Worlds, is a super soft ice. So I think that is why I also struggled a little bit in practice: I jump too high, I couldn’t land the jumps, so I needed to adjust a lot how I would do it.

Some people say that I actually skated too slow here, and I agree with them, but I pushed faster in the practices and it was horrible. It was so bad, I was laughing at how bad I was. I wasn’t even crying anymore – it went beyond that”.

Hilarious laughter from Julia, and then recounting the actual competition day: March 23rd, on a Wednesday.

The second group of skaters entered the ice of Sud de France Arena in Montpellier – Julia would skate 7th out of the 33 women competing.

“And then on Wednesday morning I felt really good, and right before my skate I said to myself: It’s my mom’s birthday – no tears today! Except happy tears!

Take a deep breath, you screwed up this short program so many times – just go, one step at the time, and you can do it!

And that’s what I did!

And then seeing the scores [58.07 points] it was amazing. Because it was finally the best of the season. And rewarding too, because I know I can get closer to the 60 points, and that’s my next goal. I set myself very small goals” [smiling].

Julia would finish the women’s short program on the 19th place and qualify for the free skate – another first for this stubborn, strong-willed skater, 100% involved in her career.

And the free skate and the overall 18th place made this the best competition in Julia’s career and the best result by any Romanian woman at Worlds.

With a particular kind of effect on her coach.

With her coach Marius Negrea at the boards, in Montpellier, right before Julia’s free skate. One last word of encouragement, Julia’s right fist in the air – and she’s ready to go!

“For the free skate, I was in a very great mood, I knew I was able to do what I can do, what I have been training for the entire season – so, after the warm-up, I went back off the ice, and I just watched clips of my dogs when he was small, to not let myself distracted”.

When she entered the ice for her free skate, coach Negrea was drawing lines in the air with his hands.

“When he does this, he’s like: Breathe, breathe.

But I was relaxed, I wasn’t nervous at all. And if I’m present, I can focus really well in the moment, take it one step to another – and that’s what I did! And the crowd in Montpellier, I felt that really cheered for me, they were super welcoming, super nice, they gave me a lot of energy – it was not hard at all to skate.

I had so much fun doing it, and I think everyone was able to see that I just love the sport so much and that I’m grateful for being on the ice”.

And Marius? There’s laughter again from Julia.

“I think that’s the first time when I saw him being actually… speechless”.

And knowing Marius Negrea and his ability to always fill the space with words – it’s quite something to have him word-less. Eyes on the night before, Julia analyzes:

“It was such a long and difficult road to get to this event, and he was hoping for a good result, but I don’t think he expected this result to come out. I think he was beyond happy, I think he was relieved”.


A photo-journey into memories follows: Julia Sauter’s week at 2022 Worlds in Montpellier, starting with her short program inspired by one of Jason Brown’s. Julia: “I was watching this one program from Jason Brown when he skated to I Can’t Go On Without You. And I loved it! Actually, it doesn’t matter what he does – I love it! And I was like: This is such a good song! But me, as a girl, as a woman, I don’t feel 100% connected to music when a guy sings, except for when it’s a super love song, and it’s like a different story. So I started to look for covers – and I found this one and I thought: That’s so unique!”.

„The step sequence I made it myself, and I started with Level 1, and then we worked ourselves up, and there were a lot of changes, a lot of arm movements added, and then we actually changed the step sequence one more time before Worlds – and, for the first time, I got a level 4! And I was, honestly, almost more proud of that, because it was a hard work to understand all the rules, and actually do it!”

Taking the ice for her free skate at 2022 Worlds, as seen from the media tribune. Music? “Unsteady” – but Julia wasn’t at all unsteady in Montpellier.

Leap into the future, into the unknown – but doing that with confidence, ambition and passion for the sport

Her own emotions leaving Montpellier? Would she take something with her?

“Oh, just all the love and the passion I have for the sport – this week was just incredible for me!

And, I have to say, it’s not just my hard work – it’s also the patience from my husband, from my family, from Marius, I think it’s all our work – and I’m happy that I made everyone proud.

Now I’m just grateful, you know? Because you never know what’s going to happen next year and I just wanted to make the most of it here”.

In March last year, Julia only knew one thing – and the rest was a very big question mark.

“Next season I will keep skating – Worlds are in Saitama again and I really want to go there again. How we’re gonna get there, I don’t know right now”.