LAKE?PLACID?- Hosted during the Skating Club of Lake Placid's Coffee Club session Thursday, Oct. 18, the induction ceremony for the "Skating 80s Club" was held in the 1980 Herb Brooks Arena.
Lake Placid icon Jim Rogers was the master of ceremonies, and other adult skaters looked on as their fellow SCLP members were inducted into the membership of this unique club.
To be a member, one must be at least 80 years old, in good health and an associate, honorary or full-time member of the Skating Club of Lake Placid. It is also necessary that they have skated recently and feel fairly comfortable on ice, to prevent injury.
Photo by Christie Sausa
From left, Margaret Atkins, Oleg Protopopov and Yvonne Farmer take part in the induction ceremony for the Skating 80s Club on Thursday, Oct. 18 on the ice at the 1980 Herb Brook Arena.
Created by Barbara Kelly last year, the club celebrates skaters 80 and over who continue to figure skate.
"Skating is a lifetime sport," Kelly said. "This is the only club like this in the country, and, as far as I know, in the world."
The first members of the club were Barbara Kelly (85 years old) and recent Lake Placid Hall of Fame inductees and veteran skating coaches Jack and Joan Devitt (both 80 years old).
This year's inductees were Margaret "Maggie" Atkins, Oleg Protopopov and Yvonne Farmer.
Farmer was eligible for the club last year, but was unable to attend the ceremony, so was officially inducted this year.
Atkins and Protopopov are 80 years old, and Farmer is 81.
Some of the members of the "Skating 80s Club" have storied pasts in the sport. Jack and Joan Devitt have been coaches for 57 years, guiding skaters to regional, sectional, and national competitions.
Maggie Atkins, originally from Great Britain, performed in skating shows throughout Europe.
Yvonne Farmer skated as a child, but rediscovered the sport as an adult skater.
And, of course, skating fans recognize Oleg Protopopov as one half of the legendary skating team of Ludmila and Oleg Protopopov, the 1964 and 1968 Olympic pairs skating champions.
Perhaps Yvone Farmer summed up the experience best:
"It's a real honor to be in this club," she said.