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Could these Catholic siblings be future US Olympians?


team_mullen_official | Instagram | Fair Use

Cerith Gardiner - published on 02/21/22

Ice skaters and brother-sister team Brendan and Caroline Mullen are serious about their ice dancing, education -- and their faith.

Every time Brendan and Caroline Mullen take part in competitions they say a little prayer together. It’s one of many rituals the brother-sister duo have been doing together over the years on the road to becoming national, and hopefully, world champions.

The pair started ice dancing together when they were young. As 18-year-old Brendan explained, “We’ve always been close. Skating just kind of made us even closer.”

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A post shared by Caroline & Brendan Mullen (@team_mullen_official)

It was the siblings’ mom, Julie, who introduced them to the sport, thanks to her own love of skating. Initially the pair skated individually, but their coaches came up with the idea of ice dancing — a program that involves lifts, spins, nifty footwork and a dance routine.

The pair are going from strength to strength, steadily climbing up through the different levels in the nationals. “As you move up the levels, you get older and stronger and more mature,” pointed out 16-year-old Caroline.

While last year the two started at the novice level in the nationals — placing fourth — this year they’re at the junior level, which is fourth in the five levels.

While the future is exciting, Caroline and Brendan still have to complete their education, which means a grueling timetable on the rink and at their school, Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington.

Their schedule is full to the brim, including hours of practice on the rink and off, as well as all their studies:

“(They’re) very blessed to go to school at Bishop O’Connell. The academic dean is so supportive of them. Sister Catherine (Hill) has been instrumental in orchestrating their schedule so they could have an arduous academic schedule and be able to train. They’re able to do these things because they have the support and the grace,” shared Julie with the Arlington Catholic Herald.

But the senior and sophomore don’t stop there. They also swim and volunteer at St. Raymond of Peñafort Church in Springfield (their local parish), where Brendon is an altar server and Caroline and her mother are on the flower committee, making beautiful floral arrangements for the church.

With their jam-packed agendas, the pair dream of going to the junior worlds, although they’ll need to be placed in the top three at the nationals. Hopefully, with their efforts, support at home and at school, and a prayer, the brother and sister pair will join the international competitive circuit maybe one day leading to a glittering Olympic medal.

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