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Karissa Fitzgerald, 26, Manchester, N.H. Skating Club at Dartmouth Masters intermediate-novice

Karissa Fitzgerald came to the 2011 U.S.

Adult Figure Skating Championships prepared, having trained two to four days a week. On April 16, the skater, who has been self-taught since 2003 due to the financial burden of college and graduate school, took the ice in Salt Lake City and completed her championship masters inter- mediate-novice program. “For me, it’s a mind game,” Fitzgerald said.

“I remind myself that I’m prepared, and my per- formances are always memorable whether good or bad by my standards.” However, Fitzgerald was not prepared for what she encountered in the kiss and cry: a pro- posal from boyfriend Henderson Williams. “It was truly unbelievable!” Fitzgerald said

after accepting Williams’ marriage offer in front of the entire crowd at the Salt Lake Sports Com- plex.

“I can’t tell you how many people saw it and thought it was something out of a fairy tale.” Fitzgerald, who also coaches young skaters in addition to herself, said she has had many signifi- cant life events occur in ice rinks. “My best memories and life lessons are most-

ly within the walls of an ice rink,” Fitzgerald said. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.” And Fitzgerald’s latest significant memory

has been well-documented as the event’s videog- rapher taped the entire proposal for everyone to enjoy.

Henderson Williams and Karissa Fitzgerald

Judy Mata, 44, and Paul Mata, 44, Troy, Mich. International Center for Excellence in Skating Masters pairs

Like most couples, when Judy Sargent and

Paul Mata fell in love they decided to get married. However, unlike most marriage ceremonies, the happy couple decided to get married in a place that reminded them of each other — the ice rink. On October 10, 2010, at 10:10 a.m., the couple said their vows and exchanged rings in an on-ice ceremony in front of 300 people. “It seemed fitting that we met and developed

Marlies Jarvis

Marlies Jarvis, 75, Richmond, Va. Learn to skate, Skate Nation Plus, Richmond, Va. Adult IV, most of freestyle 1, 2 dances

On April 26, 2012, Marlies Jarvis celebrated

her 75th birthday. Her birthday request, however, was different than most other 75 year olds. “I asked to rent the rink and celebrate,” said

Jarvis, a retired teacher. “Everyone wanted to come!” Jarvis’ celebration included an hour of skat-

ing, on-ice games and two hours of socializing with 35 to 40 guests. Jarvis also performed two programs during the party. Te first program, set to “Edelweiss,” included her eight grandchildren. Skating to “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” Jarvis’ second performance commemorated her 50th wedding anniversary and, as such, was dedicated to her husband. “You’re only as old as you think you are,” Jar-

vis said. “Skating invigorates me. What a way to celebrate my 75th birthday!” Although she skated recreationally as a child,

Jarvis, who was 62 when she began ice skating les- sons, explained why she loves skating so much. “It’s healthy, fun, social, never boring and

makes me happy,” Jarvis said. “It keeps me young and young-looking.” Fond of swing rolls and waltz threes, Jarvis

skates three days a week to continue improving and stay in shape. In addition to her own skating, Jarvis enjoys

watching her grandchildren skate, as five of them take lessons and two play hockey. Most recently, she introduced her 2-year-old grandchild to the ice as well. “My grandchildren love to skate with me and bring their friends along for me to teach,” Jarvis said. “Tey think I’m awesome.”

28 MAY 2012

our relationship on-ice and married there,” said Judy, who met her husband at the University of Michigan’ s Yost Ice Arena. Following the ceremony, guests ate outside

before returning to the icy wedding stage to watch the happy couple perform the traditional first dance, an ice dance. Te newlyweds skated in five numbers and also enjoyed performances by Dan Hollander and their fellow skaters and students. Te ice rink festivities were followed by a hotel wedding reception. Judy, a pediatric and neonatal intensive care unit nurse, began skating at age 4 when she and her family moved to Minnesota. Although she was unable to skate after the age of 9, Judy re- sumed skating in 2002. She is now a four-time U.S. adult pairs champion with three different partners, Craig Joeright, Vladimir Levchenkov and her husband Paul. She currently skates with Levchenkov. “Skating is my passion,” Judy said. “Nothing

has come easy for me [in skating]. I like the chal- lenge.” Unlike Judy, Paul began skating as an adult at 29. Although he works as an anesthesia techni- cian at Henry Ford Hospital, Paul finds time to skate six days a week with Judy, volunteer for his club and search for a new pairs partner. For most an icy relationship would make

things difficult, but for the Matas, it is the right fit.

Judy Mata and Paul Mata

A D U L T corner

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