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Busy weeks for skating in Lake Placid

January 9, 2019
By CHRISTIE SAUSA - Correspondent , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - The last week of 2018 and the first weekend of 2019 was a busy one for figure and speed skating in Lake Placid, with the Olympic Center and speedskating oval filled with skaters from the United States and Canada.


World Figure Sport

Article Photos

Participants in the “Skating Holiday” Workshop, Exams and Competition, organized by World Figure Sport, pose for a photo in the Olympic Center on Dec. 30. 
(Photo courtesy of World Figure Sport)

On Sunday, Dec. 30, World Figure Sport, an organization dedicated to figures and fancy skating, hosted a "Skating Holiday" in the Olympic Center's 1932 Jack Shea arena. Figures are the tracing of edges in complex patterns that used to be a mainstay in figure skating, and fancy skating also derives from these foundations.

"Every edge, extension, nuance, and expression should flow together on the ice originating solely from the musical necessity. The purpose of Fancy Skating is to unite the skaters profound technically mastery of figures with music into a timeless expression of the art and sport of skating, thereby transcending oneself and the audience," explained Karen Courtland Kelly, the founder of World Figure Sport and organizer of the event. "A record-breaking 65 figure exams and 35 fancy skating exams were completed."

Kelly went on to say that this amount of tests completed in one day hasn't happened for decades, and it is fair to say that their revitalization of the figures movement has highlighted the importance of the discipline and increased its popularity. World Figure Sport is also the sanctioning body of the World Figure Championship and Figure Festival, of which the inaugural Championships was hosted in Lake Placid in 2015.


ISI Figure Skating Championships

The ISI Lake Placid Figure Skating Championships, hosted Jan. 3-6 by Riverdale Ice, returned to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

"This is a huge mile marker, this Championship was started by my dad, Bob Kelton, in 1969," said Ted Kelton, who continues the tradition today.

Sanctioned by Ice Skating Institute, a figure skating organization that sanctions and hosts competitions and other figure skating events in the United States, the Lake Placid Championships brings approximately 400 figure skaters to Lake Placid every January to compete. With 275 events that include singles, ice dance, performance and figures events, there are options for skaters of every age and level.


Irving Jaffee Single Distance Championships

On the Speed Skating Oval, the Irving Jaffee Single Distance Championships took place Jan. 5-6, with 60 skaters from the US and Canada. Many of the skaters came from Ottawa, Ontario, and used the event as practice for their Canadian championships.

Named after speed skater Irving Jaffee, who won two gold medals at the 1932 Olympic Games, the race was the first of the Lake Placid Speed Skating Club racing season.

Winning the majority of the distances in the women's category was Claire Liew of the Adirondack Speed Skating Club, who lives and trains in Lake Placid.

"The race had amazing weather on the first day so I was really happy with my times," Liew said. "Overall, the race was a good start to my season."

Liew's next event will be the US Long Track Junior Championships and AmCup 3 Jan. 18-20.

For more information on World Figure Sport, visit their website at; for info on the Lake Placid ISI Championships, visit their website at; and for information on Lake Placid Speed Skating Club, including races, visit their website at



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