A crowd of more than 500 figure skaters from across the U.S. and Canada descend on Mountlake Terrace’s Olympic View Training Center this weekend to climb the first rung of the long ladder that could take them to Olympic ice.
Sponsored by the Seattle Skating Club, the event draws competitors from more than 30 figure skating clubs from across North America and Hawaii.
Skaters perform in front of judges, earning points for the skill and complexity of their performances. Top skaters move on to regional, sectional and national competitions, where they can then qualify for the U.S. National Team, compete in world-level events, and ultimately earn a spot on the Olympic team.
“It’s a long way to the top,” said Tammy Dunn, sports development director for the Snohomish County Tourism Bureau. “Many skaters start when they’re 5 years old or younger. They spend their school years hitting the ice as early as 5 a.m., attending school, and then are back on the ice in the afternoon.”
The Ice Fest Figure Skating Competition is open to the public and runs through Sunday, June 2 at the Olympicview Training Center, 22202 70th Ave. W. in Mountlake Terrace.
More information is available from the Seattle Skating Club website here.
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel