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  • Mel Kalkowski

Skating at the mac

The skating action at the Harry MacDonald Center in Eagle River shifted on Wednesday from Speed Skating to Figure Skating with 31 athletes entering the first rounds of competition.

Participants in the events are divided into four levels of skills and ages. The largest group in this year’s Games are in level one with 13 competitors and level two with 11. The figure skating competition is female only at the Games.

Sarah Deveroux McCormick, Figure Skating Sports chair, explained that the Wednesday games saw the skaters compete in the short program. The short program includes required technical elements. On Thursday, skaters competed in the free skate and on Friday the team compulsory event will cap the event.

Depending on the level of the competition, the elements performed by the skaters will vary with difficulty increasing with the level of competition. With different countries attending the games, the “tech package” used by the judges is designed to accommodate differences in the host countries' packages.

“As you watch the higher level skaters you’ll be seeing the elements with a twist…the variety of difficulty changes as they move up”, said Deveroux McComick.

A skater in Games in the 1990s and a former coach, she said she has “amazing memories” of those experiences. “What’s really cool is the spirit among the coaches and the athletes fits my recollection, that camaraderie and team spirit is really cool,” she said.

Thursday skating action began with the return of Speed Skating with the 500 meter and 777 meter events running from 8 am until 2 pm. Then at 3:15 p.m. the Figure Skating competition returned with Free Skate rounds for all four levels of skaters.

Friday’s Speed Skating events also start at 8 a.m. and are ticketed events for the 1500 meter and 3000 meter skates. Figure Skating will return on Friday at 3pm. with the Team Compulsory event.


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