Figure Skating Excellence on Display at Sunshine State Games
It took 125 events of Sunshine State Games Figure Skating to determine the 2023 Dorothy Dodson Award For Figure Skating Excellence.
From Friday morning at 9:00 a.m. through Saturday afternoon at 6:00 p.m., skaters went through a variety of events, of different skills, elements and requirements, that eventually lead up to the Intermediate Ladies Free Skate event.
In the event 21 skaters took the ice who had advanced from Jumps and Spins events where they learned the basics of skating. They advanced from Pre-Preliminary, Preliminary, Pre-Juvenile to Juvenile divisions. Once they reach the Intermediate events, they have learned their craft.
“Most skaters take four to six years to reach the Intermediate level,” said Greg Cannon, a 40-year Figure Skating judge from Indian Harbor Beach.
McKayla Chung (pictured at right), a skater representing the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club, who now lives in Brandon, made her way through the training involved in reaching the Intermediate Level. She posted the overall high scores in Friday’s Short Program and Saturday’s Free Skate to earn the 2023 Dorothy Dodson Award for Figure Skating Excellence.
The 12-year old Chung, glided across the ice for just over three minutes en route to her second gold medal in two days to become the 13th winner of the Dorothy Dodson Award since 2009. Her combined score in both events was 96.85 (32.85 in the short program and 64.00 in the free skate), to top Penelope Ogorelkoff, of the Palm Beach Figure Skating Club by six points.
Chung’s Free Skating program included “a triple salchow, a triple sal double toe, a triple loop, double axle and half loop double flip,” while performing to “Tango Santa Maria.”
Even though her free skate drew rousing applause from the stands at the Florida Panthers IceDen, she admitted her two-minute, short program was better.
“The music was more fun,” she said. “My coach (Anna Baram) suggested I skate to Tango.”
Also on the ice for the awards ceremony was the Elizabeth “Betty” Stark Award Winner,
Brooklyn Wilson, of the Space Coast IcePlex Figure Skating Club. Wilson, also 12 years old, won the gold medal in the Juvenile Girls Free Skating Event with a score of 44.33, in a field of 12 skaters. She also collected the gold medal in the Juvenile Girls Short Program on Friday.
The Dorothy Dodson Award honors the late Dorothy Dodson, who was a judge at the Sunshine State Games for many years, as well as national competition. The Betty Stark Award honors the current Sunshine State Games Sport Director, and figure skating judge of more than 40 years, Betty Stark.
Both Chung and Wilson will return to the icem for competition, June 9-11, at the Paradise Coast Classic, hosted by the Florida Everblades Figure Skating Club, in Estero’s Hertz Arena.
The 2023 Sunshine State Games Figure Skating Championships conclude on Sunday with events beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the final event at 3:00 p.m. More than 400 skaters registered to compete in the 2023 Figure Skating Championships.
For a complete listing of events and results, visit 35th Florida State Games Figure Skating Championships (usfigureskating.org).
Also taking place in the Sunshine State Games world, at the Village Park Athletics Complex, in Wellington, is the Sunshine Summer Classic Lacrosse Championships with 98 teams in action. Pool play took place on Saturday with 98 teams on the field from 8 and under to high school divisions for boys and girls.
The action begins at 8:00 a.m. Sunday and will conclude with the final championship game beginning at 1:50 p.m.
Visit www.sunshineeventsgroup.com/summerkickoffschedule for the schedule and results.
The Sunshine State Games is an annual Olympic-style Sports Festival for amateur athletes of all ages. Now in its 44th year, dating back to 1980, the Sunshine State Games is the longest continuously-running State Games in the U.S. The 2023 Sunshine State Game is held in conjunction with the Gainesville Sports Commission, Central Florida’s Polk County Sports Marketing, Visit Lauderdale, Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) and Earl Enterprises.
Registration continues for Sunshine State Games events in June in Alachua, Charlotte, Polk and Orange County. Visit the individual sports pages of this website for competition and registration information.