ice skating

Young Figure Skaters at Poway Ice Rink Celebrate Nathan Chen's Gold Medal Win

American figure skater Nathan Chen won the gold medal in men's free skate at the 2022 Beijing Olympics with a score of 332.60

Melissa Adan

The dazzling, gold medal-winning performance from Team USA’s Nathan Chen took center stage Wednesday night and was all the talk during figure skating classes Thursday in Poway.

"When he was able to do all of his quads, and his music was so cool, and the end with the footwork, it was so entertaining to watch!" said figure skater Lindsay Lardon, 13.

Nathan Chen won gold in the men’s single figure skating competition on Wednesday.

The olympian is motivating a group of young figure skaters that train at The Rinks Poway ICE.

"I think it's so inspiring that they can do it because it makes me think, well I could be able to do it one day and it's really inspiring," Lardon said.

Courtney Walker is the skating lead for the rink in Poway, and bridging the gap for new skaters is a passion of hers. Her passion goes a long way in a sport like figure skating where there are entry barriers like pricing and access to rinks and programs exist.

"We are here to offer programs to everybody our short slogan is: A skate on every foot, a jersey on every back," said Walker.

The Rinks Poway ICE offers Try Skating Free and Learn To Skate programs. The rink serves as the practice facility for the San Diego Gulls and they offer an array of programs to propel future hockey players, another sport with similar barriers.

"We offer sled hockey, special hockey, believe it or not even blind hockey here. We do it all," said Walker.

The 2022 Winter Olympics are inspiring sisters Kinley and Grace Toyne to go for the gold.

"At my age I think that if I worked harder I could probably be like Alyssa Lu," Kinsley Toyne, 10, said.

There are five ice skating rinks located across San Diego County and all are open year-round.

"I think that the Olympics are really challenging and you can get a lot of work done here," said Grace Toyne, 7.

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