Skaters flock to Park City
The Figure Skating Club of Park City was hoping to attract 180 figure skaters to the Park City Ice Arena for the Utah Winter Games competition being held from Thursday through Saturday.
About 260 skaters ended up coming to the event, and are performing more than 450 programs this weekend.
Thursday’s competitions were all about technical skills. Skaters competed in various events to showcase their spins, jumps and footwork in front of a team of judges. Friday and Saturday feature full programs, with the skaters performing their routines to music.
Gwen Dudik, president of the Figure Skating Club of Park City, said competitions like the Utah Winter Games are a good way for skaters to practice for other big events.
"It’s a good get-out-and-skate event," she said. "They get in front of judges they aren’t used to."
Fifteen-year-old Parkite Emerson Alvarez is just happy to be skating at all. She was back on the ice for the first time since getting run over by a car on June 8, injuring her leg and breaking her arm and collarbone.
"This is a really special competition for me," she said. "It’s the first competition I’ve done in 10 months. I haven’t skated consistently again until this month. I’m so happy I get to come back at our home rink and compete here."
She added that her recovery is going well and she hopes to be back at full strength soon.
"It’s good to be back," she said. "It’s different and it’s taken a while to get back into it. But I’m glad I’ve come back as strong as I have and I’m thankful for the people who have supported me through this."
For local organizers, hosting a competition is a new experience. The six-year-old Figure Skating Club has never hosted an event at the PC Ice Arena before.
"It’s probably a little bit easier (skating at home)," eight-year-old Parkite Sam Bray said. "Because when you go on other rinks, the ice isn’t the same as on your home rink."
Alvarez added that traveling to other places to compete is nice, but nothing compares to skating at home.
"I think it’s really great that we’re finally having a competition at our rink," she said. "We’ve gone to so many different events at so many different places, but we’ve always wanted to host our own."
The Utah Winter Games rotate between clubs that don’t host their own annual events, according to Dudik. Previous Games have been held in Murray and at the Utah Olympic Oval.
Today’s portion of the competition starts at 7 a.m. and goes until 8 p.m., providing the skaters plenty of chances to showcase their skills.
Nine-year-old Park City skater Anna Gready just hopes she doesn’t get too tired by the end of the competition.
"I’m skating today, tomorrow, and Saturday," she said on Thursday.
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