From Local Rink to International Stage: Los Alamos High School Alum Meg Hilko Soars as Figure Skating Judge

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. – Meg Hilko, a Los Alamos High School graduate, has achieved international recognition as a figure skating judge, with recent appearances at prestigious championships around the world. However, her love for the ice and the sport began in her hometown of Los Alamos.

Hilko reminisces about learning to skate at the local open-air rink and taking lessons from Maureen Hudson. She recalls a deep-rooted passion for figure skating that has stayed with her throughout her life. Although her own competitive days as a figure skater concluded before college, Hilko’s admiration for the sport never waned.

After college, Hilko moved to Ireland, where she immersed herself in the country’s figure skating scene. Initially working at a temporary rink, she later played a significant role in developing the Ice Skating Association of Ireland and its constitution. While initially working as a coach, Hilko transitioned to becoming a judge at the encouragement of the association’s president.

In 2013, after passing the international exam, Hilko officially became a figure skating judge. Her career has flourished ever since, culminating in her achieving the highest ranking for judging from the International Skating Union in 2023. This prestigious status allows her to officiate at ISU Championships, such as the recent European Championships and the Four Continent Championships.

Hilko’s relentless schedule as a judge takes her to competitions all over the world. From Belgium to Norway, she travels extensively to evaluate skaters. Hilko’s role as a judge involves assessing skaters’ artistry and how they seamlessly blend athleticism with music. She emphasizes the importance of authenticity and emotional connection in their performances.

While Hilko has not yet had the opportunity to judge at the Olympics or World Championships, she remains hopeful, especially considering the rise of talented up-and-coming skaters. Witnessing the progression of athletes throughout their careers is a particularly rewarding aspect of her job.

With her impressive judging resume, Hilko offers advice to aspiring figure skater officials. She emphasizes the significance of starting at the local level, as it lays the foundation for the future. Hilko encourages aspiring officials to give back to the sport through officiating, emphasizing the incredible rewards it brings.

As Hilko continues her international figure skating journey, she expresses gratitude for the opportunities that have come her way. From the vibrant ice rinks of Dundee, Scotland, to the warmth of familiar faces, each competition adds to the rich tapestry of her experiences in the sport she cherishes.

As Hilko’s career thrives, she remains a testament to the enduring magic and beauty of figure skating, showcasing the sport’s powerful blend of athleticism and artistry.