Hundreds of competitions for figure, speed, and hockey skating are being closed nationwide; even whole skating rinks are no longer open to the public due to COVID-19.
With the winter months approaching as the fall season comes to a close, many people are getting ready to start their preparations for their favorite winter sports. Ice skating has always been a winter staple; hockey, figure, and speed skating are all widely known and highly regarded sports. Even casually skating around in a rink filled with other patrons has become something of a tradition to thousands of families around the country. However, with COVID-19 now on the scene, skating is becoming less and less common; rinks are shutting down until it all blows over, people are staying inside for lockdowns, and competitions are being cancelled.
Allia Yore, an avid fan of figure skating competitions, states that “…I don’t really know how to feel about it. I’m happy my favorite skaters are staying safe, but I miss seeing them on livestream.” She goes on to state that, thankfully, the modern era allows her to go back and look at her favorite performances on YouTube and TV. “They aren’t, like, new, but they work well enough.”
While figure skating fans are catching a sore end of this, it is a bit easier for them; they spend less time surrounded by other people in close contact with each other, unlike hockey players. Hockey has had to have many competitions postponed or cancelled due to this, both on and off campus. Tyler Edens, a player for a local coyotes team, states that, “It’s hard, especially since I can’t see people as much or get the same close feeling I had before with teammates.” He says that even if practices are smaller with less contact, he and his teammates work hard
Competitive sports haven’t been the only things to be affected, though. Unlike a lot of sports that can be played outside year-round, hockey is a specific case. You have to go to a rink to be able to do it, and often, these rinks are packed. With COVID-19 and the knowledge of this, many rinks have shut down. Hunter Frye, a previous skating fan, said, “I’d never really skated until around last year. I’d start getting together with friends for the ice den’s fun Fridays, I think it was. I was starting to learn how to hold my own, but then COVID-19 hit and shut the place down. I wanted to go on one last skate with some friends before I left for college, but I couldn’t.”
COVID-19 has had a massive impact on the skating world; whether it be professional, training, hockey, figure, speed, or just casual. Many avid skaters and skating fans are being impacted by this pandemic in many different ways.