Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Disney On Ice Frozen at Broadmoor March 23--25, 2018

Come see my son Joel skate in Frozen! It is his 4th season traveling with this cast!

My son Joel and friends skate on canals in Manitoba, Canada

My son Joel and his friends got to skate on the canals in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada today 3/7/18! (I should have visited him skating on canals is "so JO ANN."

Monday, March 5, 2018

Rebekah In Skating Magazine Again! - March, 2018

My daughter Rebekah is on page 56 of this month’s Skating Magazine!

The article was slightly edited. Below is the entire article on Rebekah:

Rebekah Schneider-Farris of the Broadmoor Skating Club in Colorado Springs, Colorado recently earned her sixth U.S. Figure Skating Gold Medal, the International Dance Test, when she passed the last of the ten International ice dances, the Austrian Waltz, on January 14, 2018. She is also a U.S. Figure Skating gold medalist in Senior Moves, Senior Solo Free Dance, Senior Pairs, Gold Dance, and Senior Free Dance. Very few of US Figure Skating's skaters earn that many gold medals.

“The last international ice dance became a challenge, and in total it took me three times to pass,” said Schneider-Farris.

This victory was especially sweet for her. After taking almost two years off from skating, Schneider-Farris began working with 2006 Olympic silver medalist Ben Agosto on the International Ice Dances in January of 2017. Then, in the summer of 2017, she spent time in Sun Valley, Idaho, working with two-time national bronze medalist Brent Bommentre. She ended up testing, and passing, nine of the International dances with Bommentre all at one test session in Sun Valley. That is a remarkable achievement in itself.

Schneider-Farris is a living, breathing example of what U.S. Figure Skating’s “Get Up” campaign is all about.

“In the end, it felt like I had gone full circle and back to the fundamental lessons of skating,” she said. “When you fall, you get up and try again.”

Rebekah also said the following quotes that were deleted from the article:

“I wanted to see what skating was like outside of competition, but I had no intention of pursuing anymore tests. Even though I was only skating for fun, when the opportunity to take international dances came along I figured why not give them a try. Part of me was really excited for a new challenge and so I was thrilled when my Coach (Brent Bommentre) suggested I take ten dances at the same time.”
“I passed nine out of ten dances, and although I was really proud of my accomplishments, I was still kind of sad that I hadn’t gotten them all. The last dance became the challenge, and in total it took me three tries to pass. In the end, it felt like I had gone full circle and back to the fundamental lessons of skating. When you fall, you get up and try again.”

Saturday, February 24, 2018

My Thoughts Now That 2018 Olympic Figure Skating Is Over

Well, figure skating is over for another Olympics.  I admit I enjoyed watching all that skating from the comfort of my living room.  I loved being a member of the press at the Olympics in Vancouver in 2010, but seeing the skating from the comfort of home sure is less exhausting.  Today's modern and huge televisions are great since I can see close-ups of all the figure skaters in action. 

Now that the figure skating is over, here are some of my thoughts:

Let me work backwards:


The Russians that finished first and second, Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva, were so beautiful and almost superhuman-like skaters. It is almost a repeat of when 15-year old Tara Lipinsky won over veteran Michelle Kwan in 1998.

Canada's Kaetlyn Osmond was wonderful too.  Many figure skating fans say they thought Osmond should have won the gold.

Now, let me talk about the the three girls representing the USA.    Both Mirai Nagasu and Bradie Tennell had to be exhausted after the Team event's excitement.  And...Karen Chen stated that she needed her mom at this Olympics.  I am sad that the Olympic figure skaters and families go for days and days without seeing one another.  Figure skaters especially need their moms.  Karen will press on and so will Bradie, but who knows who will represent the USA in four years?

In my opinion, there was just too much hype about Bradie Tennell.  The poor girl just couldn't be perfect all the time.  And...Mirai did the triple Axel in the Team Event, so why did she have to be under the pressure to do it again?  I'm so happy that she is leaving this Olympics with a Team Event Bronze though.

Yes, this was the worst the US ladies have placed at the Olympics in years.  I wonder now if the "powers that be" should have sent Ashley Wagner afterall?  It is too bad that the participating nations aren't allowed to send certain skaters for the Team Event and different representatives for the individual events.  We  have so much talent in the United States.

Ice Dance:

I was glad to see the Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir win.  They have achieved amazing greatness.  They began skating together as children and have been together so long.  Winning two Olympic gold medals at this Olympics is so impressive, but the idea that they won the Olympics in Vancouver and returned to win again is just mind boggling.  (They also won silver in Sochi in 2014.)

Ice dancing is so hard to judge and understand.  I hate that one slip or fall ruins years and years of hard work in a matter of seconds.  I've seen the Shibutani siblings grow up and remember how good they were as little kids (my own children looked up to them and wanted to skate like them), but I so wish that Zackary Donohue had not slipped which ruined the chance for he and his partner Maddison Hubbell's Olympic Bronze medal.  Maia and Alex Shibutani already earned an Olympic Bronze medal in the Team event, so it would have been nice for Maddison and Zack to earn one too. And...I am so sad about the fall Madison Chock and Evan Bates took.


I'm so glad Nathan Chen landed six quads and redeemed himself after his two disastrous short program performances, but it is obvious that Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu is a figure skating king. Wow!  Two back to back Olympic golds!  I am still not sure how fond I am of the quads that are now required to be on the top in men's figure skating, but it looks like quads are here to stay.  It made me so, so sad to see Nathan Chen miss every jump in his short program, but quadruple jumps is what has brought Chen to the top.

Spain's Javier Fernandez and Japan's Shoma Uno were so good too.  With all the hype over Nathan Chen, USA's Vincent Zhou didn't get a lot of attention, but he did a great job at this Olympics.


The German pair of Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot were amazing and I'm so glad Savchenko finally earned an Olympic gold medal after competing in so many Olympics.  I really like Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford.  Meagan's smile shows a joy of skating!  I'm so glad they won the bronze, but it would have been nice for them to have won the gold or silver.  I'm so glad they earned the gold in the Team Event.

I'm glad too that Alexa and Chris Knierim did a successful quad twist, but I'm also "bummed" that the only pair from the USA at this Olympics placed so low.  (15th place is not good.)  Again, I think it might be just too much for skaters to be expected to perform well in both the Team and individual Olympic events.

Team Competition:

The Figure Skating Team competition is the greatest thing!  I think it is so awesome that some of the skaters from the USA that had no chance of medaling are leaving this Olympic Winter Games with  Olympic Bronze Medals!

I'm so happy for Alexa and Chris Knierim since I've known Chris and his mom Dee Knierim-Couch for so many years.   The Knierims did help Team USA win the bronze.!  Mirai Nagasu's triple Axel has made history!   Just seeing the photos of the team with their medals made me happy!

And...I'm glad that Canadian Patrick Chan finally earned the Olympic Gold medal he dreamed of.

Other Thoughts:

Adam Rippon became famous at this Olympics.  His open comments and interviews were fun to see and listen to.  I wonder if there is a different reason than has been publicized on why he didn't accept the NBC commenting job?

I sometimes liked listening to Tara and Johnny's commentating and other times I longed to listen to Scott Hamilton or Dick Button.  Tanith Belbin White was absolutely the greatest ice dancing commentator though.

I don't like it that single skating is all about landing jumps.  Although spins and artistry earn some points, let's face it: skaters must successfully land a lot of multi-revolution jumps to win.  That has ruined skating for so many in my opinion.  Not everyone wants to fly in the air with ice skates on and not everyone wants to be an ice dancer.

What Happens Now:

Now that figure skating at the 2018 Olympics is over, I wonder what is in store for the future of the skaters that competed in PyeongChang.  In the singles events, "youngsters" like Nathan Chen, Karen Chen, Bradie Tennell, and Vincent Zhou will probably try again for a 2022 Olympic spot.  Mirai Nagasu has proved to the world that getting "back up" is possible.  Her future should be bright and I see her continuing to press on with or without skating.

The "Shib-Sibs" have won two bronze medals at this Olympics, but I imagine they will  continue training and work for gold in 2022, but can they really achieve that when it is almost impossible to out do the French ice dance team?  And what about Maddison and Zack?  Will they stay on for another four years?

I see a future as a figure skating commentator in Adam Rippon's life.  Alexa and Chris Knierim have achieved so much greatness.  In an interview they were asked about the future and Chris responded that nothing could beat being at the Olympics.  Like a princess and prince in a fairytale, they will live "happily ever after" I hope!  I also hope that the state of US pair skating improves.

The "two little Russian girls" will probably be replaced by other Russian jumping prodigies in 2022.  Yuzuru Hanyu is so good that I could see him try for a third Olympic Gold.  Canadians Patrick Chan and Kaetlyn Osmond will move on.

Memories of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games will be recorded and shown again and again on YouTube and in other places.  New and upcoming figure skaters. like Brady Tennell, will "come out of nowhere" and work towards earning Olympic spots in 2022.

Happy Skating!

Cat's On Ice 2005 Was Where We Met Olympian Chris Knierim

During these Olympics, I couldn't help but cry tears of joy for Chris Knierim and his wife Alexa and Chris's mom DeeDee. You see, my family got to know Chris and DeeDee Knierim-Couch way back in 2005 when my three children took part in DeeDee's Colorado Youth Theatre Cats On Ice production.

Chris did so much in the background for that production and DeeDee's love for her own children showed. She had tremendous energy and dedication and patience. DeeDee told me then that she wanted Chris to consider pair skating and his first partner, Shawnee Smith, was part of that Cats On Ice production. No wonder Chris became an Olympian! Behind every skater there truly is the inspiration of a parent.

Chris's mom, DeeDee, was also there for me when my husband was hurt in a horrible accident in September of 2005 and was actually Joel and Rebekah's first pair coach. She choreographed their first pair program to Superman and then suggested we move the kids' pair skating lessons to The Broadmoor where they first worked with Irina Vorobieva and then went on to work with Dalilah Sappenfield who our family owes so much to.

I wrote this "journal memory" below way back in 2005 of that wonderful year we spent with the Knierims. Hugs to all.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Wooden Handmade Skate Guards From 1945

Marilyn Raatz Day (who is now 83 years old) skated when she was a child in Bremerton, Washington. These wooden skate guards were made by hand by her father, William F. Raatz, in 1945. Marilyn tells me her family had limited funds and could not afford to purchase skate guards, so her father made her guards instead!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

My Son Joel - Highlighted in PR for Disney On Ice Frozen In Allentown, Pennsylvania! 1-20-18

VIDEO Disney on Ice brings 'Frozen' to the PPL Center

My son Joel is in this PR segment filmed this week in Allentown, Pennsylvania! I'm so proud of him.  Watching him gave me,  his mom, tears of joy!

This is Joel's 4th year traveling with the cast of Disney On Ice Frozen.

He's traveled the world, but right now the cast is in the USA....

In this PR segment, you'll see him skate in the ice dancing scene, but about 3/4 the way into this very long video, you'll see him introduce Ana and Elsa's performance.

By the way...Colorado Springs friends, Joel will be performing in Disney On Ice Frozen when it is at the Broadmoor World Arena the last week of March, 2018! (March 22--25) Frozen will be in Colorado for three weeks starting in late March. Come and see a Colorado Springs local and Broadmoor Skating Club skater right at home! :)