Friends of Levon

What do you do when your son or daughter finds their passion at an early age?

Of course every parent knows the answer is “Whatever it takes.” But, what if their passion is competitive figure skating? When most people think about ice skating, they think of that Saturday afternoon in November or December when everyone bundles up and heads to the local ice rink for a couple hours of stumbling around the hockey rink, or holding hands with that special friend and swaying with the music as you try not to fall, followed up by a nice cup of hot chocolate

If your child is one of the few that finds balancing on a thin slice of metal comfortable and exciting. And you find them zipping around the middle of the rink instead of hugging the wall, you better plan for a life changing experience. Group lessons lead to individual lessons and custom skates, costumes and choreographed programs, traveling to cities you never really thought about visiting. Before you know it you start scheduling your time off and vacations around the USFSA competition schedule. Rarely do you find yourself on an exotic tropical island. If you’re lucky, one day they will get a job as a show skater and you may once again enjoy a Caribbean cruise while they perform on the upper-deck. You refer to your payments for coaches and ice fees as your “summer home payment” or “retirement fund”, hoping that one day they will mouth a heartfelt thank you from “the podium” somewhere around the world.

What does it cost to raise a competitive figure skater?

In 2004, Doris Bodmer, former Swiss ladies champion, figure-skating coach and judge and author of the book “How to Raise a Competitive Figure Skater” wrote an article for US Figure Skating to help parents answer that question. Her estimates were $9,000-$10,000 per year for Pre-Juvenile skaters and $20,000 and up for Intermediate and higher competitors. As equipment improved and travel expenses kept up with day-to-day cost of living this number has increased to $30,000 or more to stay competitive.

Unfortunately, sports in America are a democratic phenomenon. We are a nation of public parks, of high-school coaching, of after-school programs staffed by volunteers. But at the so-called elite level, the level of national and international competition, the level where it becomes understandable that a young athlete would concentrate on one sport, we are a nation of elites, and the phenomenon is fueled by private coaches, private clubs, corporate sponsorship, and parental sacrifice.

So the question becomes.

How does a middle-income family support a competitive figure skater?

We ask for a little help from friends and family.

Please take a few minutes to look at some of the accomplishments Levon has had over the past few years. Check back often as I will be adding pictures and videos from recent competitions soon, as well as comments from his coaches and skating peers. If you feel inspired to be part of this exciting journey click on the PayPal Donate button at the bottom of any page to make a donation. All money received will be used strictly to offset coaching and training fees, ice fees and travel expenses related to competitions and training. No amount is too small, every dollar helps. Please understand that donations may NOT be tax deductible, check with your tax professional for clarification.

Friends or business owners interested in sponsorship opportunities checkout the sponsor packages.

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