June has turned out to be a great month already! Tai Babilonia and I were inducted in the ISI Hall of Fame at the ISI/PSA Conference in Las Vegas on June 1, 2016. The award was presented to us by our legendary, Mr. John Nicks. And as I said, in part, in my portion of our acceptance speech:
“Everyday I wake up I’m so thankful and happy to be an ice skater. It’s been my passion and something that I’ve loved doing ever since the age of seven where I was just one of those little boys at the rink skating on public sessions, skating recreationally until, BOOM! It hit me. I felt the magic of skating and I always think how lucky I am to be doing something, even at this point in my life, that I love.”
It was quite the honor to be presented this as this was one of the most special awards we have received mostly because it was given to us by our colleagues, peers and people that mean so much to us.
Photo 1: Peter Martell, Tai, John Nicks and Randy – Photo: Lisa Capri. Photo 2: With Sonya Dunfield. Photo 3: At the Q & A with John Nicks.
What About HB2 in North Carolina and The Skating Community?
Here’s what we know: House Bill 2 in the the state of North Carolina bans all local LGBT rights ordinances in the state and prevents cities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people. It had a huge push forward to override an ordinance in Charlotte that would have allowed transgender people to use the bathroom of their gender identification instead of requiring them to use the one of their biological sex that’s listed on their birth certificate.
This bill is probably the most important one at this time for the figure skating community. The 2017 Adult National Skating Championships are to be held in Wake Forest, North Carolina.
Why does this concern us? The figure skating community embraces all people, of all cultures, of all socio-economic backgrounds, people of all beliefs and of all sexual orientations. Many skaters, coaches, choreographers, judges, officials, event producers, commentators, investors and sponsors are part of the LGBT community. This is why, when talking about the 2017 Adult Nationals scheduled for April of 2017, people in the community are questioning its location and would it help to get the word out to try to start a movement to help relocate the event to another place.
Many entertainers have boycotted the state already by pulling out of events or cancelling dates for shows (most recently Itzhak Perlman, Cirque de Soleil, Springstein, Pearl Jam, for starters) and companies are moving their corporate functions to other destinations.
US Figure Skating, the organizing entity and governing body producing the US Adult Nationals, wants to ensure a successful season for all its members and competitors. I trust, if they get involved in this, they will make the right decision based on their code of ethics, diverse membership and loyal ticket-buying fans.
What do you think? Here are a few links to help you with more information:
The Spin Photos
Some fun links to share:
More to come later!