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Old October 28th, 2017, 10:07 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Lomita, Ca, work in El Segundo, CA
Posts: 975
Smile Dear Jim, Great to hear from you.

Dear Jim,

Great to hear from you. Take it easy and get your life and health in order. Skating will always be there for you as long as you have a skating rink nearby. It seems you are close to Tampa, Fl and I guess they must have a pretty good artistic program.

But I will try to look up the skaters from Tampa, next year as long as I qualify to go…lol!

Last year was pretty unique. Nobody in three states skated figures in my Division/Veteran Figures for men 55-65 yrs old. So, I got first in my region and went to Nationals. Easy deal and I got 6th out of the 9 Nationals skaters and surprised myself. I thought that was pretty good since, I don’t consider myself a figure skater…lol!. I just skated figures because I thought it would help my dance.

If anybody is listening. This is how I feel about figures. In figures everything happens really slow, so you have a chance to figure out what you are doing wrong. In dance you are moving at a pretty good clip and the subtle things, like skating square, which way are you leaning and body position get harder to pinpoint where the problem is. Do the same type of turns or edges on a figure circle, skating really slow and it’s more than apparent where the problem is. Fix the problem on the figure circle and the dance should be a lot better…lol! Should…be…….in theory…lol!

Dance/solo dance I had the same problem or blessing. Out of three states competing in my region only three boys skated solo dance. Again, I got last/3rd and got to go to Nationals. 14 boys qualified for Nationals and only 12 skated. I got 11th and the ordinals for 9th and 10th were really close to mine, only 1 or 2 ordinals points separating me from my competition, so again I felt really good regardless of my placement, which was 11th out of 12 skaters skating.

This year is a whole new “bowl of wax”. They completely changed the rules, the dances and the age brackets for each division you skate. So, I really have no idea what to expect at local competitions, regional’s or nationals?????

The new age bracket for me is 50-64 years of age. I’m 62 and since by birthday is Jan 3rd, I get to skate in this age bracket//Division 2 for three more years. The cut off date for your age is Jan 1. Since my birthday is Jan 3rd, I get to skate an extra year, which is three more years in this age bracket. Which is really kool, since after skating 2-3 years in a particular age bracket you are bound to get better, right????? I think so…lol!

Anyways they added one more twist to this year’s competition rules. One of the level’s in each age bracket is the Bronze Level/Beginning Level. And if you have ever placed at Nationals in solo dance you can’t skate in this level.

Well, last year the first four placements at Nationals in my division where national champions from previous years and I’m willing to bet a few more skaters probably had placed at nationals in years prior. They have been skating for a lot of years…lol!

So, this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if 6 of the skaters who placed and beat me last year will not be eligible to skate the Bronze/Beginning level. Since I have never placed at Nationals in anything…lol, I can skate Bronze Figures and Bronze Solo Dance and have a reasonable shot at winning. At least I should be able to get better than 6th in Figures and better than 11th in Solo dance, skating the Beginning level Bronze for my age bracket of 50-64 years of age.

Anyways I agree with you about the weight. In fact, I think that is the most important thing if you want to become a freestyle skater, if you are a very old freestyle skater. I’m 62 years old and I think that is really too old to be jumping and spinning. But after one year of skating my legs and health are getting better and stronger!

And really the other day I got on the scale and couldn’t believe how light I was. On year ago, I weighed 167 lbs. Last night I got on the scale and only weighed 152 lbs. In one year skating,skating every day for 3-4 hrs per day I had lost 15 lbs!!!!!

When I was 18 years old, I weighed 135 lbs, So I’m 17 lbs over my ideal weight. If some how I lost another 10 lbs that would be incredible and make my jumping and spinning a lot easier.

There are a lot of old guys like myself who are heavy, but they only skate dance. Some skate figures. You can get away with it when only skating dance and figures, but if you are going to jump and you are heavy it’s a problem. A serious problem and shouldn’t be taken lightly. I’m guessing old people who are heavy and jump and spin are asking for a injury. If you must jump and spin when you are old, get you weight down first or don’t jump and spin.

Larry Otani

P.S. We look forward to seeing you back when the time is right and if you feel like it. What size plates are your super deluxe skates????
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