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Eugene Figure Skating Club jumping back after the pandemic

"I was so excited for a possibility of a show last year and then obviously it didn't happen," said longtime Eugene figure skater Jena Miko. "Now that it's happening and seeing all the kids really excited and just our community being so excited, the energy is back."

Posted: Nov 26, 2021 3:56 PM
Updated: Nov 26, 2021 6:58 PM

EUGENE, Ore.--- The Eugene Figure Skating Club is jumping back in a big way after nearly closing down during the pandemic.

They are hosting the annual holiday show called "Celebrate the Season" next Saturday. Last year, the show was canceled.

"I was so excited for a possibility of a show last year and then obviously it didn't happen," said longtime Eugene figure skater Jena Miko. "Now that it's happening and seeing all the kids really excited and just our community being so excited, the energy is back."

Miko has been skating with the club since 2010. 

"Every day after school I would bring my homework. Do homework and skating; the whole thing," said Miko. "This is an awesome program. It's raised me."

The journey here was no easy glide. The Eugene Figure Skating Club was established in 1991 but the pandemic was the first time it was on edge of closing altogether.

"There's a few times actually we thought gosh... there's no one on the ice," said club president Denise Beban. "When we came out of the first stay-at-home order, we were closed all the way through the beginning of our season, opened for a little while, and then closed again. We've been through a lot with this club."

But it was the love of skating that prevailed. 

"We said hold on, we are going to come back," said club board member Carolyn Brown. "We may wear masks. We may limit the numbers on the ice. But we will have ice and we will be able to skate."

The Rink Exchange is the only ice rink in Western Oregon. The only other rinks in the state are located in the Portland, Medford and Bend areas.

"We're always amazed at the number of inquiries we get during this time of year," said Beban. "The public sessions get kind of crowded and people decided, 'hey I want to learn to skate.'"

Club officials said this upcoming holiday show wouldn't be possible without the help of volunteers. 

"All of our volunteers banded together to make the show the best we can," said Beban. "A few changes here and there but it's going to be a good show."

"Celebrate the Season" kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at the Rink Exchange on December 4. The price of admission is bringing a new, unwrapped book for "Relief Nursery."

Find more information HERE.

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