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Skating Away at Adult Weekend!

June 22, 2016 - Christie Sausa
Even though I have been considered an “adult skater” for 5 years, I had never participated in the adult weekend or adult week adult figure skating camp—until this year. The promise of abundant ice, coupled with the chance to skate alongside my adult skating friends, made it well worth it. Since there is no ice in the Olympic Center during May and early June, I hadn’t skated since I went to visit family over three weeks ago and skated 45 minutes on a public session to try to keep my skills up during the hiatus. I knew I would probably be very tired at the end of the weekend, but signed up anyway for Adult Weekend on June 16-19.

Thursday night was check in at the Olympic Center. All registrants receive a badge with their name and image to be used at the rink, and a folder with schedules and descriptions of the group lessons being offered. We also received a “Lake Placid Skating” camp shirt (this year’s color combo was salmon pink and black lettering and logo).

I immediately saw several friends, including Oleg and Ludmila Protopopov, part time Lake Placid residents who are here during the summer and fall skating and coaching.

The best part of the party was no doubt the “after party skating” available, which went from 7:30 pm until 9 pm in the USA rink.

Several skaters took advantage of the ice, practicing their jumps, spins, and ice dance moves. I met a few skaters who I haven’t skated with from along the eastern seaboard…it continually impresses me how many people from throughout the World come to Lake Placid to skate.

I skated until around 8:45, then left. I had to keep rested for the next few days of skating. Friday (and the rest of the weekend) there were about 8 hours of skating available. Some sessions were shared with group lessons, where various coaches taught groups of skaters certain skills as specified by the class description. It was fun to skate in both the USA rink and the 1980 rink, and I had a hard time tearing myself away. I think I skated about 4 hours that day.

Saturday I skated about three hours, and Sunday my feet were hurting, so I opted to skate about 2 hours.

I did take one group lesson. Karen Courtland Kelly, a 1994 Olympian in pairs skating who lives and teaches (both skating and pilates) in Lake Placid, taught a figures group class. Compulsory Figures are the foundation of skating, and have undergone a renaissance, especially after the successful first World event, the World Figure Championship & Figure Festival, took place in Lake Placid last summer. Courtland Kelly is part of the organizing team, and demonstrated a new school figure, which will be part of the World Figure Organization’s testing structure. She then taught the maneuver to the students. As someone who is working towards my 1st Figure Test (I passed the Preliminary probably around 10 years ago), I always enjoy the chance to practice my figures.

Here were my takeaways from the weekend, based on my own experiences and those of others:

Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard

Having all that ice available was very tempting, so I think I pushed myself too hard to make the most of it. I see the same thing happen with my fellow skaters, although they often skate WAY more than I do, as they took advantage of more group lessons. Even taking a small break in between, taking the skates off, or taking a brief walk outside will help battle the symptoms of “too much skating”!

Ask Your Coach (Before you go)…

If you have a coach at home, asking them what they think you need to work on and/or whom they recommend you take lessons from will help with scheduling and organization. For example, knowing that you need to work on your figures would help you see when those classes are and when you should be practicing around those times. It’s also good to know whom you want to schedule lessons with so you can schedule lessons as soon as possible.


It’s a good idea to procure a copy of the ice schedule (usually available in the holder outside the arena office) to cross-reference with the Adult Weekend/Week schedule. Otherwise, you could arrive and find a desirable session as listed on one schedule is actually hockey ice (as happened at one 8:15 am session this weekend). Sometimes changes are made to the ice schedule after the Adult Weekend/Week schedules are printed, so best to keep a copy of the ice schedule along with your other schedule provided at check in.

Get to Know Your Fellow Skaters

You might think your primary purpose at a skating camp is to, well, skate, but it’s also awesome to meet new people, discover mutual connections, and of course, skate together. I met some new friends and reconnected with old ones; with so many skaters from different part of the country coming in, it’s fun to meet them and learn from each other.

Enjoy Lake Placid!

Even though you will be tempted to spend all day in the rink, it’s nice to enjoy what Lake Placid has to offer while you are here. Visit the quaint shops on Main Street (like our Skate Shop across from the Olympic Center—self promotion I know!) or go for a hike. I met one skater who took a few hours off to hike one of the high peaks, then returned to the ice. It’s nice to enjoy not only the skating, but the vacation aspect of skating camp.

The next Adult Skating event in Lake Placid is August Adult Week. For more information, including how to register, visit the link in the link box.


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