Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Adult Nationals Weekly Series #5: Meet Carolyn

Week 2 we met Briana Lackenby, Cape Cod Rehab Physical Therapist and Yarmouth Ice Club coach.  Weeks 3 and 4 we featured two of our local skaters: Dawn Feest and Becky Hamlin.  This week, we will be learning about the other side of figure skating as we meet Carolyn, co-chair for the 2014 U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships and United States Figure Skating (USFS) Judge.

About Carolyn

Carolyn Pierce has been a judge for United States Figure Skating for nearly 35 years.  She is the Vice President of the Yarmouth Ice Club and the Co-Chair at this month’s Adult Nationals alongside Donna Wunder, President of the Yarmouth Ice Club.

Carolyn has been around the sport of figure skating for almost her whole life.  She started skating at the old Kennedy Ice Rink in Hyannis.  The facility was built when Carolyn was a freshman in high school and she has been hooked ever since it was built.  At the time, there were no coaches on the Cape so Carolyn had to travel to Boston for lessons.  Carolyn noted, “My skating was forgettable but that’s when I fell in love.”

Carolyn’s career as a figure skater ended when she attended college in Florida but her involvement in the sport continued.  “Our family was absorbed in skating,” said Carolyn.  She became a judge for USFA after watching her daughter, a nationally ranked figure skater.  Carolyn’s niece was an 11-time National Competitor, competing in both singles and pairs and went on to become a World and Olympic Judge and National Chair for Technical Skating for USFS.

Physical Therapy & Barnstable Fitness

The ties between the Yarmouth Ice Club and Cape Cod Rehab continue with Carolyn.  She has been a patient of Cape Cod Rehab, a member of the Barnstable Fitness Center and was even a judge for Cape Cod Rehab’s physical therapist Briana when she was a kid.

A retired Barnstable High School Accounting and Law teacher, Carolyn now faces strenuous hours on her feet during competition weeks followed by long flights and long hours of sitting in the cold ice rink when she’s judging all over the country.  Over the years she’s had her fair share of injuries and surgeries.  She had both knees replaced, has two bad hips, two bad shoulders that can’t be fixed, along with severe osteoarthris.

Carolyn spends a few months at a time in physical therapy with Briana before meeting with Eric Chandler, Barnstable Fitness Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist for personal training.  Eric sets Carolyn up with an independent exercise program based on The Burdenko Method in the pool.  She truly believes that “the pool is saving my life!”

Yarmouth Ice Club Hosting a Major Event

Carolyn and Donna will co-chair Adult Nationals this month at the HYCC in Hyannis, MA.  Carolyn has been the chair or co-chair at every single Yarmouth Ice Club event and has judged 5 Adult National Competitions.

Adult Nationals is one of four National Championships held in the United States.  The others include U.S. Championships (which was held in Boston to decide the 2012 Sochi Olympic Team), U.S. Collegiate Championships (which the Yarmouth Ice Club hosted in 2012), and U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships.

To host a major competition, the Yarmouth Ice Club submitted a bid to USFS 18 months ago.  To submit a bid, the rink, hotels, and all the details had to be under contract and in place if they were chosen.  Carolyn and Donna have met at least 2 times per week for the last 18 months and more recently every day to plan and discuss the details of the event.  In 2012, they ran not one but three major figure skating competitions.  “Yeah, we’re crazy!” said Carolyn.

Since interviewing Carolyn, the Yarmouth Ice Club has announced they will be the host of the 2015 Theatre on Ice.

Adult Nationals

Carolyn says that adult figure skaters are amazing.  They are competing because they want to be there.  “It’s crazy and fun but also very intense.  You will see former competitive skaters performing double axels and triples and then there are lower levels where adults show their love for skating.”  She said these skaters will surprise a lot of people and added, “Everyone is cheering and the camaraderie between the skaters is incredible.”

Blog post by Jen Skiba.

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