2024 Sunshine State Games Events

2024 Sunshine State Games Figure Skating Championships Finds a Familiar Name on the Ice

Mila Vega is the second member of the Vega family to glide across the ice at the Sunshine State Games Figure Skating Championships.

The 10-year old laced up her skates early Friday morning to win a silver medal in the Juvenile Girls Short Program. She added a gold medal in a Juvenile Spins event later in the day. Vega (middle in photo), a member of the Pines Figure Skating Club, in Pembroke Pines, performed a two-minute short program routine working every inch of the Ellenton Ice Complex South Rink along with 12 other skaters in her group.

Vega missed the gold medal by a margin thinner than her skate blade. Vega’s score in the Short Program was 21.98, while the gold medalist Isabelle Gervais, of the Central Florida Figure Skating Club tallied a score of 22.03.

“I was getting nervous thinking about pulling off of my three jumps,” Vega said after leaving the ice.

In the Short Program, skaters are required to execute a series of three jumps. The favorite part of her routine, Mila proclaimed proudly, was her split-leg jump.

“It’s a jump when I’m in the air, I have one leg in front of me and one behind me,” she said. “I do it in every program I skate.”

While many would be in agreement with a 10-year old fighting nerves on the Olympic Training Center ice in Ellenton, Vega has been skating since she was two-years old.

“She actually got her first skates when she was 18 months old,” said her mother Jennifer Vega (right in photo), with a laugh.

Mila’s sister, Priscilla Vega, skated in the Sunshine State Games first competing in the 2016 Sunshine State Games in a Pre-Preliminary Compulsory Moves event. The older Vega sister has taken a year off to enjoy her senior year at Pinecrest Glades High School.

Mila and Priscilla both skated in the Sunshine State Games in 2022 and Mila has competed in the last three Games.

As a juvenile level skater, Mila Vega practices on the ice 3-4 times a week for two hours,” according to her coach, Virgilie Aliu (left in photo). “That increases to five or six times a week as skaters progress to higher levels,” Aliu said.

Vega returns to the ice on Saturday morning for the Juvenile Girls Free Skate event.

A skater who has advanced into a higher level is the 2023 Dorothy Dodson Excellence in Figure Skating Award winner, McKayla Chung, from Orlando, who won a gold medal in the Novice Ladies Short Program. Chung’s score of 31.55 was nearly two points higher than the second place finisher, Marianne De Paula, from the Miami Figure Skating Club.

Chung returns to the ice on Saturday for the Novice Ladies Free Skate event.

The second of three days of skating begins at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday morning and continues through 10:00 p.m. at the Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex.

CLICK HERE for a detailed SSG Figure Skating schedule and results.

The Sunshine State Games makes its debut in Sebring with the Florida Prep Summer Recruiting Showcase 120 at Highland County’s Multisports Complex. Florida’s top 120 prep Lacrosse players from the graduating classes of 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028, 2029 and 2030 (7th through 12th grade boys) will show their skills to college coaches from Division I, II and III programs.

Beginning Saturday at 10:00 a.m., all prospects will go through three hours of skills development. After a break, it’s back on the field for two hours of games. Parents will have the opportunity to meet with NCAA coaches to learn about the recruiting process and how to get their athlete to be the best lacrosse player possible. All instruction is by NCAA and MCLA Coaches.

On Sunday, beginning at 9:00 a.m., prospects will continue to learn skills from the college coaches with individual and group work leading to full-field lacrosse IQ development. The rest of the day will include IQ development and team play in front of and coached by NCAA coaches.

The weekend concludes with the Florida Lacrosse News 88 all-star game 1:00 p.m.

The 45th Annual Sunshine State Games is a program of the Florida Sports Foundation, the official sports promotion and development organization of the State of Florida. Since 1980, the Games provide amateur sports opportunities for athletes of all ages in an Olympic-style Sports Festival. The Sunshine State Games are the longest continually-running State Games in the U.S.