Figure Skaters compete at sectional championships - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

Figure Skaters compete at sectional championships

Figure Skaters Have Hopes For 2018 Winter Olympics Figure Skaters Have Hopes For 2018 Winter Olympics
For skaters like Sean Rabbit, the chance to realize a dream and make the 2018 Olympic team will come in just over a month at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

"It's kind of surreal but it's also really cool, just because you know you have worked so hard up until this point," Rabbit says of the upcoming championships, which kick off Dec. 29 in San Jose. "Whatever happens happens, but it's really cool to be among the best guys in the US."

For now, the road to PyeongChang goes through Spokane. Rabbit, along with skaters of all levels, will compete at the Pacific Coast Sectional Championships which began Thursday and wrap up Saturday at Eagles Ice Arena.

"These skaters will hopefully go to Nationals, and then these skaters will get to see who the athletes are that are chosen for the Olympic team, which will be fabulous," says Lavonne Elliott, who works with the Lilac City Figure Skating Club and helped bring this event to Spokane.

On Thursday, Rabbit hit the ice for practice at the Frontier Ice Arena in Coeur d'Alene along with other Team USA hopefuls. Just off the ice, there were members of the Lake City Figure Skating Club eagerly watching.

"It's pretty cool to have people that are going to be... if they got into nationals it's pretty cool," said Kassandra Freeny, a 12-year-old figure skater who's been on the ice for four years.

"A little girl approached me and she's a lower level and she's like oh my gosh we see you all the time," said Rabbit. "I think it's really cool, because you get to meet who could be the next skating star."

That next skating star could be on the ice at Eagles this weekend, where four local members of the Lilac City Figure Skating Club will compete.

"It's nice because they know this rink, and they follow a lot of these skaters too so it's neat to have them here," says Joli King, whose daughter Cheyenne is competing this weekend. "They all support each other, but also to have such a high caliber out here, it's just amazing for them to be out there with them."

"I think it's great just to watch them and be able to learn from them," says Kayleigh Elliott, a junior level skater. "I think we get to learn even more from them and have even better competition."

Whether they've got their eyes on 2018, or maybe 2026, these skaters all have big dreams.

"Oh yeah I want to be in the Olympics, I want to be an Olympian," Freeny says.

And they're embracing the chance to compete on their home ice alongside some of today's skating stars.

"You can learn a lot from them, it just helps push you when you're out on the same ice and seeing them do all these amazing jumps," says Courtney Kirschke, a senior-level competitor from the Lilac City Figure Skating Club. "I think it serves as motivation to push yourself more."