Meet your Area Representatives


April 1, 2017
   In The Loop Extended Articles

Stacie Kuglin
Area 10 Representative
Ratings: MM-06, MSS-05

Reflecting back on my 48 years in skating, I've often wondered if the coaches, judges, and skaters who were a part of my skating had any idea how they shaped my life. When recently asked who had the greatest influence on me as a skater, I instantly thought how lucky I was, because there were so many. I then became completely overwhelmed with the daunting task of just picking one. I finally decided to go back to where it all began for me: the Civic Center in Great Falls, Montana.

As a beginner skater, I was a fellow Great Falls FSC member with none other than John Misha Petkevich! How lucky I was to share the ice with an athlete of his caliber. For many years, Misha was the guest star of our annual ice show. His encore number was to Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech and "Somewhere" from West Side Story. The first half of his program was skating at its very best with beautiful stroking, edges, and turns. As he was skating, you could feel the building anticipation of the crowd because everyone in the arena knew what was coming- the most glorious delayed Axel that soared higher than the boards! All these years later, when I think of this program, I still get goose bumps.

Misha had a calm, quiet demeanor, an amazing smile that lit up the arena, and was truly an innovator in our sport. From him I got my love of pure skating, appreciation for great music, and joy in choreography, but most importantly, he inspired me to dream big!

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Gloria Leous
Area 17 Representative
Pegula Ice Arena, Penn State
Ratings: MM-03, MSS-03

Gloria

I never could have imagined how watching a holiday skating exhibition would completely change my life. I was a 14-year-old public session skater, and thought I was pretty good. I had taught myself a few tricks, and I owned those public sessions. Lessons? Tests? Shows? Competitions? The possibility of these never crossed my mind. I honestly didn't know that there was anything more than my happy little public session bubble.

But it was the smallest of things that made all the difference. At that little exhibition, this public session star saw a skater perform – wait for it – a BALLET JUMP! My mind was blown - what was that? I have to learn that!

That was all it took. I signed up for the ISI group lessons advertised at the show, and I was all in. In a few months, I had polished off Alpha-Delta. Within 2 ½ years of that little holiday show, I had spent eighteen weeks away from home at skating camps, passed the Second Figure, Juvenile FS, and landed a double Lutz. And yes, I figured out the ballet jump too.

During my time as a “young” skater, there were well-meaning peers who asked why I was bothering to skate. In their minds, I had started far too late to ever achieve anything. My only thought was that I was just going to go as far as I could. The truth was, I had to skate – I was hooked. I worked hard and made the most of my opportunities. But even in my most optimistic plans, I could never have imagined all of the incredible experiences and wonderful things that have come my way through skating. I've skated in some terrific shows, earned two U.S. Figure Skating gold medals, stood on a podium, been back-flipped over on the ice, met my skating heroes, and so much more.

I've also been blessed with lifelong friends and a career through skating that I never thought possible. Being able to serve as both a PSA Area Representative and ARC Committee Chair has been the icing on the improbable cake that is my skating story. And it all started with a ballet jump.