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Adults gather for weekend of skating

June 30, 2018
By CHRISTIE SAUSA - Correspondent , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - Lake Placid's summer figure skating program was one of the first in the country to offer an adult skating week in the 1990s, just around the time when US Figure Skating created an adult skating program.

Today, it continues to be one of the most popular programs in the country that is tailored to skaters 21 years old and over.

Approximately 50 U.S. and international adult skaters participated in last week's adult skating program that opened the 2018 summer skating season June 21-24. Lake Placid Skating will also host its traditional adult skating week later in the summer.

Article Photos

Adult skaters gather for a photo in the 1980 rink at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, following last year’s Adult Week Skating Exhibition.
(Provided photo — Christie Sausa)

Last weekend, skaters were allocated an impressive amount of ice time, with at least six hours of on-ice sessions and 10 on-ice classes per day offered. The classes allowed skaters to learn from a variety of coaches on different topics, including jumps and spins, edges, ice dance and more.

Private lessons with legendary coaches such as two-time Olympic champion Oleg Protopopov were also available. Participants could also take part in off-ice classes, including ballet, trampoline and yoga. Of course, meeting other adult skaters and forming friendships on and off the ice is part of what keeps many adult skaters coming back every year.

While some adult skaters make an annual pilgrimage to Lake Placid, others were making their first adult skating weekend appearance in Lake Placid.

Penny Becker and Vicki Close of Connecticut skate in a Theatre on Ice troupe, and along with a few other friends, signed up for the Lake Placid adult weekend this year.

"It was one of those things where I signed up and others from my Theatre on Ice group thought it sounded like fun, so I had three people come with me to camp when I originally thought I would be by myself," Becker said. "I've wanted to do this camp for years."

Becker, who has been skating for 15 years as an adult skater, liked that the camp was close to home and she was making new friends. The large amount of ice time allowed her to dedicate more time to work toward her Bronze Moves in the field test.

Close's mother was Nancy Torrance of the Lake Placid Torrance family.

"I bought speed skates here in Lake Placid, but this was my first Lake Placid adult camp, and I really liked the group lessons," Close said. "My first Adult Nationals competition was 2000, in Lake Placid, so it's good to come back for the camp."

Many Canadian skaters, like Christine Davis, traveled from afar to participate in the adult skating weekend.

Davis currently lives in New Brunswick, but is originally from England. She skated as a child in England, but resumed skating as an adult in order to socialize. She has been skating for six years, taking lessons for the latter four.

"I started going to the public sessions because I had moved to a new area and thought it was a good way to get out and meet people, then I went to the club sessions because I wanted to progress and learn more than just stroking around," Davis said. "The people in the club were really welcoming and encouraged me to try different things, including ice dance."

The camp sounded intriguing to Davis, both for the social component and for the lesson offerings. She is working toward completing her Senior Bronze ice dance tests.

"I read about the Lake Placid skate camp some time last year, and the idea of sessions about choreography and presentation sounded interesting as it's something I'm not good at," Davis said. "I really enjoyed the lessons on presentation and body alignment, and I met some lovely people."

The next adult skating opportunity in Lake Placid is Adult Week, Aug. 19-25, which closes out the summer season. For more information on Lake Placid Skating, including adult skating programs, visit their website at



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