Lake Placid Figure Skating Championships return after two-year hiatus | News, Sports, Jobs


Arianne Belley is competing in the Lake Placid Figure Skating Championships, which took place at the Olympic Center from June 23-25. Belley was the silver medalist for the senior ladies. (Photo provided – Jason Hicks-Moriarty)

LAKE PLACID — The 1980 Herb Brooks and 1932 Jack Shea arenas were packed with figure skaters competing in the 2022 Lake Placid Figure Skating Championships June 23-25. The event took place for the first time since 2019.

“(The) Lake Placid Summer Figure Skating Championships are such an important kickoff for summer skating in Lake Placid,” said Paul Wylie, ORDA athletic director and 1992 Olympic silver medalist in men’s individual skating. “We have missed it terribly over the past few years and are thrilled to have the community reunited here in Lake Placid.”

The event featured over 200 skaters from across the United States, competing at all levels of singles competition, from beginner to elite, in the singles and pairs disciplines.

Canadian skaters also returned to Lake Placid. The championships have always encouraged future elite Canadian skaters due to the proximity to Canada, and this year was no exception.

The senior women’s event was swept by Canadians, Nour-Houda Foura, Arianne Belley and Sylia Rabhi, who placed first, second and third respectively.

Dominica Sarandeva of Lake Placid performs her long program during the Lake Placid Figure Skating Championships held at the 1932 Jack Shea Arena in Lake Placid June 23-25. (Photo provided)

“It’s a great opportunity for local skaters to be joined by those from across the region (and country),” Wylie said. “It’s wonderful to see coaches who came to this event as little kids bringing their own students here to skate on Olympic ice.”

The first day of competition, June 23, was also Olympic and Paralympic Day. Local celebrations began at the Olympic Center with “Big Dreams,” a special presentation hosted by Kathaleen Kelly Cutone, leader of the US Figure Skating Team at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

Cutone, who lives and trains in Lake Placid with her sisters under the tutelage of Lake Placid Hall of Famers Jack and Joan Devitt, will compete in six U.S. Figure Skating Championships and become a top official with U.S. Figure Skating.

Cutone again served as chief referee for the event, as she had for several years, although she had been involved with the event since skating there in the 1980s, both as a competitor and official.

“Figure skating in Lake Placid was a big part of my childhood and teenage years, so coming back to Lake Placid for these free skating championships and serving as chief umpire is a walk down memory lane,” said Cutone. “Every time I am at the Olympic Center it brings a smile to my face thinking of the thousands of happy hours spent.”

Championships have served as valuable “pre-season” skating occasion, where skaters can “Try” their new programs or change the content of their programs before the pressure builds to qualify in the fall.

For these competitors, coaches and parents, it was a different experience to find themselves on the updated site after a long absence. The newly refurbished rinks opened just a few months ago – the 1932 arena was the first to reopen on December 3, followed soon after by the 1980 arena in January.

Walls have been painted, hallways are wider and brighter, and rinks are getting several updates, including new locker rooms, restrooms, adjustable boards, and updated seating. The arena has retained its historic ambience.

“The 1980 rink is the same, but refreshed and updated. You notice the new seats, railings, paint and plexiglass,” said Cutone. “I can’t wait to see the rest of the renovations completed.”

Although renovations to the rink are complete, parts of the Olympic Center are still “Work areas”. The Link Building, which once linked the 1980 and 1932 wings of the Olympic Center, is still under renovation.

Participants had to access each rink through the exterior entrance only. The skaters didn’t seem to care and were thrilled to be back for the event.

Dominica Sarandeva, who lives and trains in Lake Placid while training in Newburgh with coaches Larisa Selezneva and Oleg Makarov, took advantage of her second training location during the ice break between mid-May and early June.

Sarandeva, a member of the Lake Placid Skating Club, has been training in Newburgh to prepare for the Lake Placid competition and the series of other summer competitions in preparation for the upcoming season.

Sarandeva placed second in her short program qualifying round and first in her free skate qualifying round. She won a silver medal in the intermediate women’s short program final.

“As I was competing at home, I wanted to compete well, which added extra pressure,” said Sarandeva. “It was nice to see my skater friends back here in Lake Placid and I was happy with my performance.”

The series of summer figure skating competitions will continue with the Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships and Ice Dance International July 27-29. For more information, visit


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