HACKENSACK -- Aspiring Olympic figure skaters might be interested to learn that they, too, can train at a facility where 10 Pyeongchang Olympians trained.
The Ice House in Hackensack has served as the training facility for 10 Olympic skaters representing five countries. They gave sneak previews of their Olympic performances for the lucky audience at "Ice Dreams," the Ice House's send off showcase on Jan. 29.
The 2018 Olympic skaters who trained at the Ice House are:
- Alexei Bychenko, Daniel Samohin, Paige Conners, Evgeni Krasnopolski, Adel Tankova and Ronald Zilberberg of Israel,
- Alexia Paganini of Switzerland,
- Nicole Rajicova of Slovakia,
- Canada Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Canada, and
- Keita Horiko, Jimmy Ma, Emily Zhang, and Robert Yampolsky of the United States.
They gave exhilarating performances before the 1,000 person capacity crowd in the Ice House's largest skating rank.
The first to skate was Samohin, followed by Yampolsky and Zhang, who set the tone of the evening with a performance set to Fitz and the Tantrums' "I Can Make Your Hands Clap," which evoked the desired reaction from the crowd. The musical selection of the evening was mostly 2010's pop or rap songs, with Jimmy Ma performing to an elaborate electro house remix of "Turn Down for What." Not all of the musical selections were geared toward Millennials, however. Paganini skated to John Farrar's "You're the One that I Want," while Bychenko performed to an elaborate remix of "Hava Nagila."
The Ice House took measures to showcase not just the Olympians and already accomplished US skaters, but also the NJ Black Diamonds, the 2017 and 2018 Eastern Sectional Finalists. Following the intermission was a skating performance by the Ice House Future Stats, young skaters in training.
Founded in 1998 as the American Academy Figure Skating Club, and renamed in 2011, the Ice House of New Jersey Figure Skating Club has provided over $300,000 in skater assistance, stipends and support. It has been a resource for 36 Olympic skaters, and the 10 who are in Korea competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.