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Skating Forward


With the Olympics just around the corner, Joanne Vassallo Jamrosz’ new book, Skating Forward – Olympic Memories, Olympic Spirit, has been released just in time for this exciting season. We are all inspired by our Olympic hopefuls and everyone is filled with anticipation waiting for the competitive season to begin.


Joanne, however, has taken a different spin on things capturing the stories of 11 individuals who just can’t seem to get enough of our sport. Each story unfolds a major comeback with an Olympic spirit after an enormous setback. These are true “Get Up” stories. I was surprised, yet delighted, when Joanne reached out to me to include my story.


In 1992, I was working with two Olympians, three Senior National and two Junior National champions. One day, as I was sitting at a traffic light, an 18-wheeler Mac truck hit my car. I spent the next year in full body brace and had to relearn to walk, run and skip. My surgeons told me I would never choreograph again and that I should start thinking about a new career. But I reached deep into myself determined to be the best PT patient who was compliant, hardworking and never down. The doctors were surprised but after much hard work I fought my way back into the rink to do what I love best – choreograph programs for wonderful skaters always with a consistent positive attitude. I remain filled with gratitude.


Joanne profiled several well-known individuals in our community for her newest book including Olympian Jeremy Abbott, Jordon Moeller, coach Darien Hosier, and there are even a few interesting stories about adult skaters. You can read more about her book here.


The session is over and the Zamboni is coming out.


Auf Wiedersehen

© 2020 by Phillip Mills

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World & Olympic Figure Skating Choreographer