Figure Skating in Utah

Autumn Thatcher, Sports Editor

During the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, figure skating was the second most watched event. Although many viewers watch figure skating during the Olympics, the sport can also be seen right here in the Salt Lake Valley. In Utah, there are countless figure skating clubs that offer lessons and competitions.
These clubs include Utah Figure Skating Club, Salt Lake Figure Skating Club, and Oval Figure Skating Club. With so many different figure skating clubs found around the Salt Lake Valley, competition is high. “It’s pretty competitive,” said Isabella Brearton. Brearton has seen firsthand how competitive figure skating is in Utah. When she was five years old, she began to figure skate. Today, she skates for the Oval Figure Skating Club. She is at a novice level, two levels away from the Olympic trained figure skaters that compete at the Senior level.
However, figure skating is not all competition. Brearton figure skates for the American Ice Theatre, which is a company run by the University of Utah. “We’re called Crimson Ice and we perform at U of U hockey games,” Brearton said. The difference between companies like American Ice Theatre and clubs like Oval Figure Skating Club is the theatre aspect. American Ice Theatre adds choreography to their performances, making them seem like a choreographed dance instead of a figure skate routine.

The Oval Figure Skating Club is driven by competition, and getting higher on the ranks towards the Olympic level. “There are different levels of skating and basic 1-8 is the very beginning. Then you move to free skate 1-6,” said Brearton. Once figure skaters complete the basics they then move into the harder levels. The hardest level as a Senior is the same as Olympic figure skating.
According to the Oval Figure Skating Club, the skaters practice at the Utah Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City. During the 2002 Olympics figure skaters from all around the world came to compete at this rink. That means that the Oval Figure Skating Club skates on the same ice that gold medalists did in 2002. Whether or not the different clubs are skating on Olympic ice at the Utah Olympic Oval, they still are gaining recognition across the valley for the sport.