Chill out! Skaters travel to Alpharetta to compete



ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Young girls sporting pretty dresses, famous ice skaters and dozens of vendors and volunteers packed The Cooler in Alpharetta for the Atlanta Open figure skating competition June 12-14. The three-day event hosted by the Atlanta Figure Skating Club (AFSC) boasted over 400 competitors from the ages of 6 to 50 of all skill levels. The skaters competed in various categories that included ice dance, showcase and pairs team in addition to the more popular short and long program. The AFSC has hosted this competition for more than 30 years. “We have skaters from South Florida all the way up to New York,” said Christi Fisher, competition chair for the AFSC. AFSC was also named host of the 2015 South Atlantic Regional Championships, which will be held in late September and early October this year at The Cooler, 10800 Davis Drive in Alpharetta. For many who plan on competing at the championships, this is the perfect chance to check out the facility. At the competition, many got to meet some well-known ice skaters. Pairs bronze medalist at the 2002 World Figure Skating Championships John Zimmerman, who is a coach in Florida, was spotted at The Cooler during the event. Another recognizable figure was Timothy Dolensky, who skates at The Cooler and was the 2012 U.S. Junior Men Silver Medalist. The event is a way for skaters to see what Atlanta Figure Skating and the community has to offer. AFSC and The Cooler give many of their skaters a sense of local community and, through events like this, a broader sense of the skating community, said Jessica Gregory, a member of the AFSC. “It’s really fun and you get to meet a lot of new people,” said Gregory, who competed in compulsory jumps and dramatic showcase. Competitions like this rely heavily on the support of volunteers. While Gregory was competing, her mother, Fran Gregory, was volunteering for the AFSC. Many help by supplying food for coaches and judges, and others help with paperwork, music and announcing awards. The majority of volunteers are parents of skaters and some are skaters themselves. Even the younger generation gets involved by volunteering to run paperwork, results and music to their destination. For more information, visit


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