CHANDLER, Ariz. — The United States has won more world championship figure skating medals than any other country, according to U.S. Figure Skating.
Two former competitive skaters, and one with Olympic history, are looking to continue that streak by training the next generation of athletes.
“I’ve trained with some of the best coaches in the world, so to be able to give that back to my students and help them enjoy that experience on the ice, I think that’s the most enjoyable thing," Lang said.
Douglas Razzano, a former Team USA athlete, also coaches figure skating at the Ice Den. He was an Olympic alternate.
“It still is an honor," Razzano said. "I think to be even close to competing at the Olympic level is so unique and something so few people get to do.”
Today, the pair brings their love for different disciplines of the sport to the Valley.
“I coach from 6 to 55 to like all ages," Razzano said. "And every now and then you get a student who has a super talent.”
Lang coaches a team of about 25 solo nationally competing ice dancers.
“Which is more the ballroom," Lang said. "We’re not allowed to do lifts above the head. We do twizzles. We do footwork. It’s more edgy. More artistic.”
The art and freedom of ice dance is something Lang dazzled in for Team USA in the early 2000s. It's a time she also made Olympic history.
“I was the first Native American woman to compete in the Winter Olympics in 2002," she said. Lang also held a role in an Olympic Ceremony she will never forget.
“When I got to give the gift to the Five Nations - so we traveled down to the stadium on the ground floor," Lang said. "And you see the five horsemen on the ice. It was probably one of the most incredible things I’ve experienced in my career.”
Lang and Razzano glided down different paths at different times with Team USA, but both weaved in Olympic dreams with skaters today, serving as mentors on our desert ice.
The Ice Den has "Learn to Skate" classes for all ages interested in lacing up skates and giving the ice a go.
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