Winter Olympics inspire Montana skaters

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HELENA — With the Winter Olympics in full swing, figure skating is a concern for many.

Helena Figure Skating Club president Crystal Ann Curry said she sees a spike in interest after the Winter Olympics.

That rang true for Ashlyn Magnuson, whose figure skating career began after watching the Olympics.

“I was five years old and living in Minnesota at the time. I saw all these people at the Olympics and I was like, ‘Wow, look at their cool dresses, look at how they skate’ and I said to my parents that was what I wanted to do, so they found me a club and at the age of six I started competing,” she said.

Magnuson will compete in the local Capital City Skate Challenge where she will perform solo routines as well as an interpretive routine.

“It’s really fun because you can be yourself and do the moves you want to do and so it’s not like you’re trained to do those moves. So basically with the interp, your coaches sit on the bleachers, they can’t help you at all.

For skater Jeremy Barbagello, he started skating as an adult. Her journey started with a simple desire to learn how to skate backwards, but it has now become her hobby.

He started at the Helena Figure Skating Club almost eight years ago and now competes at the adult bronze level. He will compete in four different events at the upcoming Helena competition and says figure skating has taught him a valuable lesson.

“It doesn’t matter how often you fall, it just matters that you get up, keep going, and have fun,” he said.

You can see all of these skaters in action at the Helena Figure Skating Club for the Capital City Skate Challenge during Presidents Day weekend.

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