Ice Sports initiative to promote Olympism in US

18 | 8 | 2014

The United States Olympic Committee and EduSkating have announced that ES8 – an initiative that integrates sport and education to promote Olympism and encourage participation in ice sports through fun, challenging programmes – has been officially certified as a Community Olympic Development Program (CODP) for the sport of figure skating in Connecticut.

The programme, developed and managed by four-time U.S. Ice Dance Olympic Silver Medalists, Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov, also aims to boost self-esteem, social skills and fitness amongst participants. The CODP will partner with National Governing Bodies and community sports groups to provide opportunities for youth to participate in Olympic and Paralympic sport.

“We are thrilled and excited to be recognised and to work with the U.S. Olympic Committee and U.S. Figure Skating on this endeavor,” said Gregory. “From the very beginning, our goal for EduSkating has been to fill students’ needs to be active, social and have fun with their peers, while learning and applying new skills and concepts. This designation will help us serve and reach more young people.”

“We are pleased to welcome EduSkating formally into the Olympic family,” said Alicia McConnell, USOC director of training sites and community partnerships. “The programme has done amazing work to promote figure skating in Connecticut and hopefully this partnership will provide even more opportunities for continued growth.” 

Designed for pre-K through 12th-grade students, ES8 features five levels that support U.S. Figure Skating’s athlete pipeline, helping progress skaters from the beginning stages of development to the elite level.

“EduSkating is truly an innovative program,” said Susi Wehrli-McLaughlin, U.S. Figure Skating’s senior director of membership. “In addition to skating, Melissa and Denis teach life lessons and science, and instill a sense of community in their students.  We are very proud that EduSkating is now a Community Olympic Development Program.”

In 2010, Gregory received the USOC’s Rings of Gold award for her work with ES8 Fever on Ice. The award annually recognises individuals and programmes that are dedicated to helping children develop their Olympic or Paralympic dreams, and reach their highest athletic and personal potential.

“We are delighted to offer our students the support of the U.S. Olympic Committee while fostering the Olympic ideals of excellence,” Petukhov said.

For more information about ES8, visit