Media Articles

October 21, 2016

Olympic Skater Scott Hamilton Facing Third Brain Tumor Diagnosis: ‘I Choose to Celebrate Life’

By Jeff Nelson@nelson_jeff,

Scott Hamilton is facing another health scare.

scott-hamiltonEarlier this year, the Olympic figure skater received a brain tumor diagnosis for what will be the third time. The diagnosis — a benign pituitary tumor — comes after Hamilton, 58, overcame testicular cancer in 1997 and battled two previous brain tumors in 2004 and 2010.

To view the accompanying video and the rest of the article, click here

“I have a unique hobby of collecting life-threatening illness,” the Stars on Ice cofounder tells PEOPLE exclusively. “It’s six years later, and it decided that it wanted an encore.”

Hamilton learned of the tumor at a routine check-up and is currently exploring all his treatment options before symptoms begin presenting.

“I’ll tell anybody that will listen: If you’re ever facing anything, get as many diagnoses as you possibly can,” he says. “The more you truly understand what you’re up against, the better decision you’re going to make.”

Since being diagnosed, Hamilton has stayed strong for his wife Tracie, 46, and his four kids: biological sons Aidan, 12, and Maxx, 8; and Jean Paul, 15, and Evelyne, 13, whom they adopted from Haiti in 2014.

“When this one came back, six years ago, I told Tracie — she was devastated. This time, I go, ‘Well, here we go again.’ She’s like, ‘Really, it’s back? … Okay, we’ll just deal with it.’ And that was it,” says Hamilton. “My 12-year-old son … came to me, and he said, ‘Is your brain tumor back?’ And I go, ‘Yeah, it is! And here we go again.’ So I set the tone.”

As he consults with specialists around the country, Hamilton is hopeful and relying on his Christian faith.

“I’ve been blessed beyond my wildest imagination; I would never even think to dream the stuff that I’ve been able to do,” he says. “Last round, in 2010, I told Tracie, ‘God doesn’t owe me a day. I’m good. Whatever’s next is next.’ The blessings keep coming because we allow them and we ask for them.”

In addition to sharing his harrowing health journey over the years, Hamilton — who lost his mother to cancer — has inspired thousands with his motivational speaking engagements and pushed for cancer research, education and survivorship with this Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation.

Ageless Protopopovs ask: ‘Where is the love?’

Posted 9/12/16 by Sarah. S Brannen, special to icenetwork

Two-time Olympic gold medalists offer critique of modern pairs rules


Ludmila and Oleg Protopopov are in their 60th year skating together. -Sherry Gao

When Ludmila Belousova and Oleg Protopopov won their second Olympic gold medals in 1968, they were already among the oldest figure skating champions in history. Forty-eight years later, they still skate every day, but they only perform in public once a year: at “An Evening with Champions” at Harvard University. On Sept. 9 and 10, they skated in the show for the 24th time.

At the ages of 80 and 84, the Protopopovs take their annual appearance very seriously, spending a good while warming up and keeping to themselves for a long time before their appearance. They traditionally open the second half of the show, on a perfectly clean sheet of ice. Last weekend, wearing royal blue costumes, they skated to a waltz they have used before called “Fascination.” Of course, the audience was spellbound.

“An Evening with Champions” benefits the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Ludmila spoke with feeling about the cause.

“From other side, skating helps not just the people who see us but us also, because we keep our health in our hands,” she said.

The show is organized entirely by Harvard students, none of whom were born the first time the Protopopovs skated in the production in 1979. Indeed, none of the other skaters in this year’s show were born then, either. Nevertheless, current skaters appear to be universally inspired by the venerable team.

“The Protopopovs are such icons for the sport,” said two-time U.S. champion Marissa Castelli, who has skated in “An Evening with Champions” with the Protopopovs many times. “They have so much love for figure skating that they keep on going. Their drive inspires all of us to push our own skating to our limits. Every time in the past when I was with the Protopopovs at ‘An Evening with Champions,’ they were always so kind and welcoming, and really embraced the show’s spirit.”

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The Cold War On Ice: Peggy Fleming Visits The Soviet Union

MUST READ: The Cold War On Ice: Peggy Fleming Visits The Soviet Union. During The Cold War, 1968 Olympic Gold Medallist Peggy Fleming went behind The Iron Curtain to film a history making television special.


“We didn’t have a single appointment. We had the names of people we should see and the structure of the organization from our research. They knew of Peggy, and their interest in sports is great. They seemed to be interested in the show from the moment we first started talking,” said Dick Foster, the producer of “Peggy Fleming Visits The Soviet Union”, a revolutionary 1973 Bell System Family Theatre production that united for the first time skaters from the Soviet Union and the United States… in the middle of The Cold War.

Foster was referring to an initial meeting between himself, executive Bob Banner and members of the State Committee of The USSR Council Of Ministers For Television And Radio in November 1972. The production would mark the very first time an American film crew ever worked in the Soviet Union. The next spring, Banner, Foster and Fleming returned to Moscow and within a week got all the permission they needed. They were ready to film… and film they did. With Fleming, who was treated like a movie star, they shot sixty thousand feet of tape in twenty seven hours, contending with an extreme language barrier. Much of the communication was done in German, as crew members on both sides didn’t know each other’s language and had to find common ground. Another challenge were the extreme temperatures in the many skating scenes filmed outdoors. The average temperature was thirteen below, with one scene on The Bay Of Finland filmed in seventeen below weather with harsh winds. The July 13, 1973 issue of the “Pittsburgh Post-Gazette” noted that during filming, “Miss Fleming dropped her heavy overcoat, rose up on the toes of her skates and suddenly let out a piercing scream as the bitter cold closed in on her. A second or two later, however, she was gliding, twirling and leaping across the smile, smiling a bright defiance to the elements.”

The August 30, 1974 edition of “The Dispatch” noted the historical significance of this production and its countless ‘firsts’:

– the first co-production of an entertainment special by an American company and the USSR.
– the first filming of an American star performing in the Moscow Circus and with the Moscow Ice Ballet
– the first filming of the Kirov Ballet for United States television.
– the first time American and Soviet cameramen worked jointly on an entertainment production.
– the first filming for the United States TV of the Moscow Puppet Theatre.
– the first filming in a USSR recording studio.
– the first United States TV production ever scored in the USSR under the direction of an American conductor and using the Soviet Television and Radio Symphony Orchestra.
– the first such TV special to be telecast simultaneously in both the United States and the USSR (same day and local time.)
– the first TV filming within the Palace of Catherine the Great.
– the first filming of a musical production number on the frozen Bay of Finland.
– the first filming of the original Andreev Balalaika Orchestra for Western television.
– The first time Soviets have scheduled special performances for the exclusive purpose of filming portions of this special.

The production opened with a solo number by Fleming called “Midnight in Moscow” skated at the Yublani Stadium in Leningrad. She was next seen skating on a frozen reflecting pond adjacent the Palace of Catherine the Great, performing the “Festive Overture” with members of the Moscow State Ballet On Ice. Following her solos, Fleming visited Soviet soprano Lyudmila Senchina inside the Palace as she rehearsed a performance to “New Rochelle” from the Soviet version of “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” at the Leningrad Musical Theatre. Ludmila then sang Cher’s “The Way Of Love” in Russian accompanied by the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra while Peggy skated another solo. A fourth solo set to “Two Guitars” on a lake adjacent to the Bogoroditse-Smolensky Monastery in Moscow followed. Peggy then played guest to Sergey Obraztsov’s Puppet Theatre in Moscow where she was entertained by “Victoria Vibrato” and an all-puppet rock n’ roll band called “Pop Art”. The final two acts were an interpretation of “Swan Lake” with the Kirov Corps joining Vladimir Luzin of the Moscow Ice Ballet and Fleming on the icy Bay Of Finland near Leningrad and a duet to “Sweet Caroline” at the Moscow Circus where Fleming was paired by clown Andrei Nikolaev.

To view the video ‘Midnight in Moscow’, click here

To view the rest of the article,  click here

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Dorothy Hamill looks back on Olympic gold,her famous haircut and fight with cancer

Jul. 15, 2016 at 8:48 AM

Scott Stump


Whether it has been her dazzling Olympic performance, her famous haircut or her work with children with disabilities, figure skating legend Dorothy Hamill has always found a way to leave a lasting impression.

Forty years after she won the gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, Hamill, 59, looked back with Natalie Morales as part of TODAY’s “Where Are They Now?” series on Olympic greats.

Dorothy Hamill

“I just found something I loved to do, and it’s taken me to places that I never dreamt,” Hamill said.

Hamill went from skating on a pond in Riverside, Connecticut, as an 8-year-old to becoming America’s sweetheart after grabbing a pair of gold medals at 19.

She also inspired a generation of girls, including Natalie, to imitate her famous bobbed hairstyle dubbed “The Dorothy.” Natalie also fulfilled a childhood dream by getting to skate with her idol.

“It’s wonderful because I did the same thing when I was watching Peggy Fleming and Janet Lynn skate, and I’d be in my living room with socks on twirling,” Hamill said. “So it certainly means a lot.”

Click here to read the complete articles and view the videos


1960 Winter Olympics Squaw Valley

Canadian Olympic Team 1960-1

The Canadian Olympic Figure Skating Team in Squaw Valley, California. L-R: Sheldon Galbraith (coach), Barbara Wagner, Bob Paul, Wendy Griner, CFSA President Granville Mayall,  Maria and Otto Jelinek, Sandra Tewkesbury, Donald Jackson, Donald McPherson


Jeyne BrownJeyne Brown, publicist for many years seen on Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii in March, 1982. (Photo by Christie Adams)





Jeyne Brown 2010Jeyne enjoying the 2010 Reunion with Dolores Harkins & Bob Skrak

April 4, 2016

Flashback to 1972 – courtesy of Tai Babilonia

Tai & Randy & JohnIn 1972 my pair skating idols JoJo Starbuck & Ken Shelley had just turned professional & signed with the Ice Capades, that same year Mr. Nicks excepted us into his stable of champions at Santa Monica Ice Capades Chalet & everything changed ~ Two years later we made the World Team! On June 1st Mr. Nicks will be presenting us as we’re inducted into the ISI Hall Of Fame 2016 ISI/PSA Conferences & Trade Show in Las Vegas!

Photo by Sgt.Babilonia

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Bob Turk on playing music for Sonja Henie

Courtesy of Skate Guard

ABob turk fun anecdote from Ice Capades director Bob Turk, who played phonograph records for Sonja Henie when she practiced at the Polar Palace ice rink in the forties.

Click here to view the video

Ronnie Robertson – Ice Capades of 1959

Courtesy of Carl Moseley

Ronnie RobertsonWatch Ronnie Robertson’s performance on the Ed Sullivan Show, “Pagliacci”, “Operama” production

Click here to watch Ronnie in action.

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Moments in Time

Old Smoothies, Tab Hunter, Bobbie SpechtThe Old Smoothies, Tab Hunter & Bobby Specht

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Protopopovs 1968The Protopopovs, 1968 Olympics!

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Headbanging History: Tracing The Roots Of The Bounce Spin

Courtesy of SkateGuard

March 12, 2016


You know that cherished recipe that has been passed down through the generations? The one your grandmother taughtKyoko_Ina_&_John_Zimmerman_Headbanger your aunt and your aunt taught your mother and your mother taught you? The story of one of adagio pairs skating’s most mind blowing tricks of the trade – the bounce spin or ‘headbanger’ goes a little like the story of that recipe… and I had a little fun trying to unravel the mystery.

Before we take a look at the mystery and the history, let’s take a look at what the bounce spin is. It’s a jaw dropping adagio pairs trick where one partner swings the other around with both feet off the ice, supported only by the grip of the swinger on the swingee’s ankle. The swingee is elevated up and down during the spin. Performed well, the head of the swingee comes terrifyingly close to being smashed on the ice. The International Skating Union, of course, wants no part in it. Per ISU regulations “spinning movements in which the man swings the lady around in the air while holding her hand or foot, are illegal… Twist-like or rotational movements during which the lady is turned over one or more times with her skating foot leaving the ice are not permitted.”

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Another Piece of Our History is Gone

The Boss knows how to say goodbye:

Bruce Springsteen show, the last for Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena

March 14, 2016, Updated March 15, 2016 11:42 a.m.

arena.0225.01 Los Angeles Sports Arena

Los Angeles Sports Arena

Bruce Springsteen wrote a song that describes perfectly what will be happening soon in Los Angeles.

The New Jersey rocker’s last show at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena on Saturday will be the last event at the old, oblong building. The wrecking ball is the next scheduled visitor after Springsteen and the E Street Band leave town after shows today, Thursday and Saturday. When you’ve written songs as long as The Boss has, you learn how to say goodbye.

“When all this steel and these stories, they drift away to rust. And all our youth and beauty has been given to the dust … Bring on your wrecking ball.”

It’s a song called “Wrecking Ball,” and it was written just before Springsteen played the last show at his beloved Giants Stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands in 2009.

Springsteen once affectionately called the Sports Arena “the dump that jumps.” He’s played the venue 31 times since his first show, on Oct. 30, 1980, when he opened with the familiar lines from “Born to Run”: “In the day we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway American dream. At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines.”

The Sports Arena was once a mansion of glory.

Click here to read the complete article

The Unlikely Birth of the Beloved Zamboni

How war surplus parts and California sun led to the iconic ice hockey contraption.

By Matt Blitz

Mar 2, 2016

landscape-1456845026-zamboni-highThe boxy four-wheeled contraption is not particularly graceful. It does one job, night after night, intermission after intermission. Yet the Zamboni machine, that overgrown ice tractor that resurfaces a rink between figure skating routines or ice hockey periods, always elicits pure joy from onlookers.

“It’s particularly mesmerizing to children,” Richard Zamboni, the son of the machine’s inventor and president of Frank J. Zamboni & Co, Inc, tells Popular Mechanics. “But the adults seem to enjoy watching the operators, likely putting themselves in the position of the driver and imagining if they could a better job.”

Richard’s father, Frank Zamboni, debuted his “Model A” Zamboni in 1949 at his Iceland Skating Rink in Paramount, California. As the world’s first ice resurfacing machine, the Zamboni made a hard task simpler—before this mechanical marvel, up to four workers and a tractor were needed to shave, scoop, and spray the ice in a 90-minute process. Nearly seventy years later, the Zamboni has become so much more than just a machine. It’s a star.

“Everyone wants to watch it, wave to it. People throw it kisses. I don’t understand why.”

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Ice Capades owned Zamboni #4.


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Dorothy Hamill’s Olympic win, iconic bob, and signature spin: 40 years later


Click here to view the video

At just 19-years-old, Dorothy Hamill won the gold medal for ladies’ singles ice skating at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. Dorothy’s skating style captivated audiences, including her signature spin – the Hamill Camel! And of course, who can forget her iconic bob haircut that sparked a movement? TODAY’s Willie Geist and guest cohost Brooke Shields catch up with Dorothy at the Rockefeller Plaza ice rink on the 40th anniversary of her gold medal win.

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Feb. 3, 2016

The Marvel From Milan: The Anna Galmarini Story


Born in the height of World War II on October 15, 1942, Anna Galmarini grew up in Milan, Italy. The four foot ten, ninety five pound dynamo with dark hair and bright green eyes started skating at the age of ten at the Sport Palace in downtown Milan during school gym periods because she hated tennis. In an interview in the April 1, 1971 issue of the Kingsport Post, she explained, “my older brother was interested in ice skating. I thought it looked like fun.” She also showed an interest in hockey, but her parents made it clear, “you may skate, but no ice hockey.” Figure skating it was. She started without a coach at the beginning, then began to take lessons twice a month. By age thirteen, she was Italian junior champion and training eight hours a day. At the age of fourteen, she went to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, West Germany to study with the best European coaches. In 1957, representing del Circolo Pattinatori Artistico di Milano, she won her first of four consecutive Italian senior women’s titles. However, when she entered her first international competition, the 1957 European Championships in Vienna, Italian silver medallist Carla Tichatschek placed sixteenth to her nineteenth. This forgettable debut only prompted Galmarini to train even harder.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Jan. 22, 2016

Richard Dwyer coverCheck out our Ageless 80 year old Richard Dwyer, aka Mr. Debonaire, who wowed the crowd at the 2016 US  Figure Skating Championships with one of his trademark routines.

Click here to see the video on Harlick Skating Boots

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Olympic Gold Medalist Dorothy Hamill Talks About Life and New Breast Cancer Initiative: ‘I Try to Seize Every Moment’

By Barbara Stepko

01/15/2016 AT 05:05 PM EST

dorothy-hamill-0-435Decades before Serena Williams was firing off first serves and Lindsey Vonn was shushing down mountaintops, figure skater Dorothy Hamill was the biggest deal in women’s sports.

She captured the gold medal at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, nearly 40 years ago, and became an overnight sensation. She went on to make a small fortune starring in Ice Capades and TV specials, land scores of endorsement deals, create a nationwide trend with her bouncy hairstyle and earn the title of “America’s Sweetheart.”

Today, Hamill, who turns 60 in July, lives a far quieter life in Indian Wells, California, with her husband, business executive John MacColl. (Hamill’s 27-year-old daughter, Alexandra Forsythe, from Hamill’s second marriage to Kenneth Forsythe, lives in Sacramento.)

Low-key seems to suit Hamill just fine.

To read the rest of this article, click here

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Jan 7, 2016

Graceville man skates by in life

Robert Strong1MIRAMAR BEACH, Fla (WJHG) – Many people skate by in life, and Robert Strong is no different. The 65 year-old former letter carrier hails from Graceville, which is fitting when you see him glide across the ice.
Strong grew up in Massachusetts and laced up the skates for the first time when he was just three years-old.
“Back then the winters stayed cold,” said Strong. “They got out there with a fire hose and made us an outdoor ice skating rink.”
From November until January, Strong finds sanctuary at The Villages of Baytowne Wharf ice rink in Sandestin.
“Some people paint as a means of expressing. Some people dance. Some people sing and I can’t do much of any of that, so this is my artistic outlet,” said Strong.
Strong joined the Ice Capades out of high school when he was only 17 years-old. He skated at the Ft. Lauderdale Sheraton’s ice show for 14 years. That’s when he received a surprise phone call.

To read the rest of the article, including videos, click here

To read about Syntheticiceusa that Robert has installed in his backyard, click here


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Jan. 7, 2016

 JoJo Starbuck – Growing Bolder

It was such a pleasure spending time with Marc Middleton of Growing Bolder to talk about the joys and benefits for adult skating!

JoJo Starbuck

A former Olympian explains why ice skating could be your perfect way to get active, even if you’ve never skated before.

To listen to her radio interview, click here|By Growing Bolder

Everybody is always looking for an interesting new way to exercise. What if there was something that’s cool, fun and incredibly effective?

Former Olympic figure skating medalist and world champion JoJo Starbuck says skating is something that changed her life and she thinks it can change yours, too.

With her partner Ken Shelley, JoJo won three U.S. titles, two World bronze medals and competed in both the 1968 and 1972 Olympics, and she says you don’t have to be a world-class skater to reap the benefits of getting on the ice.

Despite the fact that she has coached several Olympians, she says her favorite students are adults. JoJo explains how skating benefits the body and the brain and says this is more important than ever for her aging students.  As she approaches 65 herself, she reveals the many ways skating keeps her body and mind healthy.

JoJo also explains describes how learning to skate can help prevent devastating future falls, even in older students who’ve never skated before.

Click here to learn more about JoJo, including her skating lessons for adults.

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Jan 6, 2016

Figure-skating exhibit highlights ‘perfect landings’ by immigrants

The Canadian Press
Wed, 6 Jan 2016 14:37:00 CST


Otto and Maria Jelinek are seen in this handout photo taken in the 1960s. In Canada, the sport of figure skating has been “profoundly influenced” by the talents of immigrants, says the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, about a new exhibit called “Perfect Landings”. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Skate Canada Archives

HALIFAX – John Knebli, a skilled Hungarian-born craftsman, came to Canada in 1930. Ellen Burka, a Holocaust survivor from Holland, arrived in 1951.

Both went on to become prominent in Canadian figure skating in their own ways.

In Canada, the sport has been “profoundly influenced” by the talents of immigrants, says the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.

The museum’s new exhibit “Perfect Landings,” opening Jan. 16, profiles several of those immigrants. It overlaps with the 2016 National Skating Championships, being held from Jan. 18 to 24 at Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre.

Knebli made skates for numerous top-ranked skaters, while Burka trained some of the sport’s biggest stars.

Others highlighted in the display include Louis Rubenstein, Hellmut May, Joe Geisler, Otto and Maria Jelinek, Victor Kraatz and Ellen Burka’s daughter Petra.

Among artifacts to be featured are Kraatz’s “Riverdance” costume from the 1998 Olympics, Petra Burka’s bronze medal from the 1964 Olympics, and skates crafted by Knebli, museum historian Steven Schwinghamer said.

“Perfect Landings,” presented in the museum’s Hall of Tribute in partnership with Skate Canada, is set to run until March 20.

On Jan. 21, the museum will screen “Skate to Survive,” a 2007 film biography of Ellen Burka.

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Jan. 5, 2016

Looking to get fit and have fun! Join JoJo for her “Cool Workout” and “Great 8’s” classes at Rockefeller Center and in NJ.

Jo Jo 1-5

A big thank you to our skating photographer Robyn Roth-Moise for capturing so perfectly the joy we feel on the ice every week!

For more information on JoJo’s classes, click here

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Olympian JoJo Starbuck Shares Joy of Skating with Newark Students


December 15, 2015 at 12:05 AM

jojoWEST ORANGE, NJ – On Dec. 8, two-time Olympian pairs figure skater JoJo Starbuck hosted a free holiday skating party at New Jersey’s Richard Codey Arena for 37 students from the Newark Christian Academy. The students, ages 8-15 years old, arrived at the rink filled with excitement, eager to skate–many for the first time.

Once the students stepped onto the ice, Starbuck and three skating coaches: David Lipowitz, Laura Klinger and Marc Fenczak were  ready to help them learn the basics. Though most of these young skaters started the session by clinging to the rinkside wall, by the end of two hours of thrills and spills, many were traversing from one side to the other WITH big smiles on their faces.

Before they left the ice, Starbuck and the three coaches gave the students a brief skating exhibition that was met with gasps of appreciation and spontaneous applause.

After the party, the children returned to school with treat-filled goody bags and wonderful life long memories

To read the rest of the article, click here


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How I Got There: Otto Jelinek

OttoOtto Jelinek is currently Canadian Ambassador to the Czech Republic. As a former refugee from Communism, he has a high-level track record. Jelinek was a world championship figure skater, winning the 1962 pairs title with his sister Maria. After becoming a world figure skating champion, Jelinek was also successful in his next venture as a skating goods manufacturer. That was followed by a political career with the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada that included a sequence of ministerial positions concerned with amateur sport, supply and services, and national revenue.

Jelinek left politics in 1993 and moved to the Czech Republic and became chairman of Deloitte Central Europe, among other positions. Lan Anh Vu found some time in his busy schedule to talk to him about his professional journey, the challenges he faced and his advice for young people.

As told to Lan Anh Vu

My Career in Sports, Business, Politics and Diplomacy

My sister and I never thought when we skated that one day we could be the world champions. We had the determination to do our best and work towards being the best in whatever we did. We went from competitive scaling to professional scaling, performing in a professional live show. This led to the opportunity to make some money in professional skating. I used that money to invest in business and manufactured figure and hockey skates.

As I was running my business, and because Canadians recognized my name quite well from my role in the World Championships, I often spoke at local Rotary clubs, Lions Clubs and organizations of that nature. When I gave talks, I sometimes complained about how small- and medium-sized business owners like myself faced a lot of red tape thrown at us by all levels of government and political parties. So I was then singled out as someone who could express that point of view on the floor of the House of Commons. I served twenty-one years in the Canadian government. I never planned to go into politics.

To read the entire article, click here

Shout Out: Karen Kay Lavris, world traveler

by Pioneer Press

ct-ctl-ct-vhr-shoutout-karen-kay-lavris-jpg-20151203Karen Kay Lavris is one of the more energetic coaches at the Glacier Ice Arena in Vernon Hills, and she’s commonly recognized and greeted when she’s out in public.




What’s your role at Glacier?  I’m a skating pro, because I skated for the “Ice Capades” in 1960, so I’m on the ice with clients about 20 hours a week. I also do all special events and marketing at the rink.

How long have you lived in the area?  I live in Mundelein. We moved this way from Chicago in 1970. If you need to go back to where you were born, you can always go back. We haven’t.

What do you like about the Mundelein and Vernon Hills area?  We have good schools here and really, really nice people. I have four children. The two girls went to Carmel and my two boys went to Mundelein High School. The boys wanted a little more sports and Carmel wasn’t big into sports at the time, plus they wanted to play with their neighborhood friends. Both schools were great.

When you’re not at work, what hobbies do you enjoy?   I love to dance, I love to travel and I work out every morning.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?  We’ve gone to Hawaii, Alaska, Italy, Greece and Australia, to name a few. We’ve never been to Russia or Scandinavia, and we’ve been talking about visiting some family there.

Why do you like traveling so much?  I married my husband, Ted, 54 years ago and I think I love him more today than I loved him then. The vacations are special because they’re adventures with him.

Is there anyone you looked up to as a child? Frank Sinatra was my favorite celebrity. I loved the way he sang, and he’s Italian, like I am. Sonja Henie was a skater I idolized.

Are there any social issues important to you? I’m 73 years old, and I’d be honored to see a lady president in my lifetime.

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Life on the Road, Skating with the ICE CAPADES

TimEntertainment reporter Tim Estiloz chats with WBZ’s Jordan Rich about what it was like to be a performing skater in front of thousands with the world famous Ice Capades touring ice show – before returning to broadcasting.

See the full interview on You Tube


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2015 Skate Canada Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada is pleased to induct six new members into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame. This year Skate Canada celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Hall. The Hall of Fame was developed in 1990 to pay tribute to athletes, builders and professionals who have made a significant impact on Canadian figure skating.
The slate of 2015 will include ice dancers Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon, 2009 Synchronized Skating Team NEXXICE, and pair skaters Louise Bertram and Stewart Reburn in the athlete category. In the builder group, synchronized skating pioneer Cathy Dalton will be inducted. In the professional discipline, coach Richard Gauthier and choreographer Sara Kawahara will be honoured.


Sarah Kawahara, 61, Montreal, Que., introduced an innovative and artistic style of choreography for competitive skating as well as show skating, which has led her to be world renowned in her field; she enters the Skate Canada Hall of Fame as a professional. During her successful career she created memorable programs and choreographed ice shows for world class skaters, including Toller Cranston, Elvis Stojko, Scott Hamilton, Michelle Kwan, Kristi Yamaguchi, Dorothy Hamill, Peggy Fleming, John Curry and many others. She would go on to win two Prime Time Emmy Awards, both for best chorography, the first in 1997 for Scott Hamilton, Upside Down and the second in 2002 for the Opening Ceremonies at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

Skate Canada is proud to celebrate the achievements of the skating community through the inductions of exceptional members in the Skate Canada Hall of Fame. The exact date and locations of the various inductions will be announced at a later date.
Click here to read the entire article:

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Olympian Debi Thomas Breaks Down: I Lost My Entire Nest Egg

by Raphael Chestang 8:08 PM PDT, October 28, 2015

debi-thomas A world champion in 1986 and a bronze Olympic medalist in 1988,    Dr. Debi Thomas was once one of the most successful and influential ice skaters in U.S. history, but today she’s struggling financially.

“Over the past few years, a complex set of events and circumstances has put me, my fiancé [Jamie Looney] and our family in serious financial dire straits,” Dr. Thomas, now 48, says in her GoFundMe video on YouTube.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Otto Jelinek, Part 1: Escape, tragedy and “incredibly emotional” triumph in Prague

19-10-2015 15:16 | Ian Willoughby

jelinek_ottoxOtto Jelinek (75) is in the highly unusual position of being ambassador to the city of his birth. Canada’s envoy to the Czech Republic was born in Prague during WWII but fled with his family after the Communist takeover of 1948. Fourteen years later, he returned to the city as a Canadian – winning gold with his sister Maria at the World Figure Skating Championships in front of a delighted “home crowd”.

To read the rest of the article, click here

Otto Jelinek, Part 2: Success in business and politics and return to Prague

26-10-2015 17:00 | Ian Willoughby

Prague-born Otto Jelinek became Canada’s ambassador to the Czech Republic in 2013, six and a half decades after his family moved to the North American state from communist Czechoslovakia. After becoming figure skating world champion in his early 20s, Mr. Jelinek was also successful in his next venture as a skating goods manufacturer. That was followed by a political career with the Progress Conservative party that included a string of ministerial positions.

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Dina Parise

Former Ice Capades skater Dina Parise wins 2015 IHRA Crower Pro Mod Championship

(10-12-2015) NEW FREEDOM, PA – Former Ice Capades figure skater-turned-professional drag racer Dina Parise won the IHRA 2015 Crower Pro Mod points championship Saturday night in Memphis.

Going into the weekend’s IHRA Nitro Jam World Finals at Memphis International Raceway in Millington, Tennessee, Parise led Ohio’s Bill Lutz by 31 points. Parise’s march to the 2015 title concluded Saturday evening when Lutz lost during the first round of Pro Mod eliminations. Parise’s unique Cadillac Pro Mod was defeated in the semi-final round of eliminations by veteran Billy Harper.

Parise had two runner-up finishes in the final round of eliminations over the seven-race 2015 series.

 World Figure Championship & Figure Festival

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JoJo graces Figure judging panel with wealth of experience

September 8, 2015
By CHRISTIE SAUSA – Correspondent , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID – JoJo Starbuck has one of the most memorable names in figure skating, and one of the most memorable careers as well.

After skating pairs and singles on an elite level during her professional career, Starbuck segued to coaching and acting, and continues to be a popular coach around the world.

Serving as a judge, Starbuck was just one of the many luminaries in Lake Placid for the inaugural World Figure Championship, which took place from August 25 to 29 in the 1932 Olympic arena. Joining her on the distinguished judging panel were 1972 Olympic champion Trixi Schuba, 1972 Olympic bronze medalist Janet Lynn, two-time world champion Tim Wood, two-time world medalist Julie Lynn Holmes, 1962 world champion Don Jackson, 1969 Canadian national champion Linda Carbonetto Villella, 1963 national champion Tommy Litz, World Championship competitor Andra McLaughlin Kelly, and U.S. Junior national medalist and Olympic/world coach Slavka Kohout Button. Well-known ABC producer Doug Wilson and two-time Olympic champion and skating legend Dick Button were also in attendance to lend their support for the inaugural event.

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