Bayside Teen Competes In Empire State Winter Games
"She's only been skating for the past five years, and she just started with me recently, but she's improved immensely and she shows great potential," Retzkin said. Thong spends some two hours a day practicing on the ice five to six days a week. Her off-ice training include ballet, Pilates and other gymnastic and body movement classes.
Retzkin trained Emily Hughes, sister of Olympics skater Sarah Hughes, from age four and saw her take a bronze medal in the Junior National competition and reach seventh place in her first Olympics in Turin, Italy in 2006. She expects Thong, who is practicing for competing at two upcoming events in Pennsylvania and Hackensack, New Jersey, to attain similar distinction in the skating world, and not just on her abilities alone. "She's a wonderful, delightful girl," Retzkin said. "It's a real treat to work with her."
The Empire State Winter Games have been held in Lake Placid since they began in 1981. They are sponsored by the New York State Lottery and take place at sports facilities operated by the Olympic Regional Development Authority. Some 1,400 athletes gathered to participate in Olympic style alpine skiing, bobsledding, skeleton, luge, biathlon, ski jumping, ski orienteering, snow shoeing, speed skating, cross-country skiing and women's ice hockey as well as figure skating.
- Linda J. Wilson