Meet your Area Representatives

By Kent McDill


December 1, 2016
   In The Loop Extended Articles

Lee Cabell
Area 3 Representative
Ratings: MFF

In the early 1960s, Lee Cabell was a small boy who had just learned how to skate when the Czechoslovak national championships came to his hometown of Opava, near the Polish border. Many notable Czechoslovak skaters were in town, and the young Cabell was chosen for a special honor which also provided him with his most memorable skating moment.

“My grandfather had a large garden at the time and he offered his beautiful gladiolus flowers to be given to the competitors,” Cabell said. “At that time, each skater received flowers after skating their freestyle program. My role was to deliver the flowers on the ice to the skaters. The ice rink was packed with about 7,000 people.”

Cabell’s first delivery didn’t go quite as planned. He rushed to the ice with the flowers, but had forgotten to take off his skate guards. He fell on the ice with the flowers.

“You can imagine how the whole rink started to laugh, and the female competitor came to me, removed my skate guards, and took the flowers from me,” he said. “Well, I was glad I gave her the flowers!”

The impetuousness of youth caused him to take another misstep during the ice dancing competition, when he was supposed to give flowers to Eva and Pavel Roman, the ice dance world champions at the time. The organizer gave him the flowers, and he was eagerly awaiting his turn to deliver the flowers.

“I heard the music stop, and I flew onto the ice with a bright smile,” Cabell said. “A few seconds later, I realized the music had stopped in the middle of the program as a transition from fast to slow parts. At that moment, I became part of the championships in the eyes of the audience. Of course, the organizer ran after me and got me off the ice, and the Romans showed their professionalism and continued with their dance.”

For the remainder of his flower-delivery duty, a male skater sat next to Cabell and told him when to go onto the ice. That skater was Karol Divin, who that year won the Czechoslovak national and European championships. Divin also won the silver medal at the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley, Calif. Whether Divin had been told by the organizers to assist the small boy did not diminish the effect of Cabell getting to spend the time with one of his skating idols.

“I didn’t realize at that time how proud I was, and I felt like I had won the national championships, myself,” Cabell said.

Cabell and Divin met again many times and were coaching colleagues in Brno, Czechoslovakia, where the 80-year-old Divin still lives. “I am still in touch with that gentleman who saved me from total embarrassment so long ago!” Cabell said.


Liz Egetoe
Area 7 Representative
Ratings: MG, MPD

As coaches, we have so many memorable moments that mold our careers and our lives. I have been fortunate enough to have a series of moments that may appear to be an unfortunate turn of events, but in reality are the ones that have blessed me with this amazing career. A month before I turned 13, I had a spinal fusion to correct scoliosis. They had to remove 9 discs, implant 2 titanium rods and screws, and fuse 18 vertebra together. My scoliosis curvature went from 70 and 80 degrees to 15 and 23 degrees with the fusion from C-3 to L-4. As you can imagine, that is incredibly limiting for our sport.

My incredible coach, Skip Mackall, was my biggest advocate through such a trying time. He sat me down and told me that if I wanted to remain in the sport, then I would learn to coach. That day sparked a flame. As stubborn as I was wanting to prove him wrong, he was right. Little did I know I would spend the next two years of my recovery standing in the hockey boxes listening to him teach and taking it all in. He helped me focus on what I could do, not on what I couldn’t do.  Skip pushed me to set new and different goals.

Every PSA member in the ratings process speaks so highly of learning to coach from the boards in order to be able to learn how to use your words to describe and explain the expectations of elements. My crash course was from such an incredible mentor which truly became the foundation of coaching career. While my story and path to becoming a coach is unlike most, I take great pride in those years. I learned to compensate in a way most will never have a chance to. While that is extremely fortunate for them, I wouldn’t trade these amazing learning experiences for the world.

Every moment shapes our lives and for a fortunate few, we are lucky enough to have a series of moments that shape our careers. Even more so, those of us that have been blessed with a mentor to lead us through those life changing moments must always reflect on receiving such a beautiful, once in a lifetime gift. When faced with adversity, we must learn to find our path and remember the importance of goal-setting. Most importantly, never forget our very first lesson... how to get up!