September 9, 2016

Five Celebrities You Didn't Know Were Skaters

... in alphabetical order, since I couldn't think of a better way ...

1.   Uzo Aduba - a.k.a. "Crazy Eyes" from the Netflix television series - Orange Is The New Black.  Crazy as that may sound, Uzo grew up in Medfield, Massachusetts and skated for ten years.  According to this article by Lizzie Widdicombe in New Yorker, "I could do a triple Salchow, a double Axel, a triple flip. No triple loop—that was always my worst jump, that inside edge.”

2. Condoleezza Rice - the former U.S. Secretary of State trained in Denver, Colorado starting at the age of twelve.  She skated competitively but also enrolled at Denver University at fifteen and graduated by nineteen as an accomplished pianist as well!  She claims she had a failed career in figure skating, but passing up to her pre-silver dances, I would not call a failure.  From Jo Ann Scneider Farris's article on Figure Skating at, “I believe I may have learnt more from my failed figure-skating career than I did from anything else. Athletics gives you a kind of toughness and discipline that nothing else really does."

3. Nicole Ritchie - the adopted daughter of Lionel Ritchie skated as a kid and credits a Vera Wang (also on the list!) dress worn by Nancy Kerrigan in the Olympics with her introduction into the world of fashion.

4. Patrick Swayze - who sadly passed away on September 14, 2009, was an accomplished dancer, athlete and movie star.  So it is no surprise that he also mastered figure skating enough to skate with Ice Capades.  What is surprising is that it wasn't noted in his obituaries and has only a brief mention on his wiki page.

5. Vera Wang - designed the famous white dress for Nancy Kerrigan, but also skated in the 1968 US Figure Skating Championship in Pairs with her partner James Stuart.  That's a seriously accomplished skater, but she says she felt like a failure for not making the Olympic team and thus quit.  Luckily, she went into the fashion industry from there and things have since worked out very well.


Ryan Stevens said...

Fascinating! Definitely knew about Condaleeza Rice and Vera Wang but had no clue about Patrick Swayze.

Ice Charades said...

Yes, my friend said Patrick was in his division in Capades, but I waded deep into discussion threads on the internet to confirm that. Wish I'd had a program with his name in it because that would have saved a lot of time.

Anonymous said...

Cool - I didn't know this!