Special Figure Skaters Win Medals in Finland
October 18, 2021
In early October Olga Necaeva, a renowned figure skating coach in Latvia, and her trainees with special needs returned from the prestigious Finnish competition Finland Trophy-21. Each of the team members won a medal: 2 golds and 1 silver in total. Taking into account that the figure skaters have cerebral palsy and other illnesses, this is a particularly high achievement
Olga Necaeva had prepared all of her trainees in spite of the complications that her figure skating club Twizzle encountered due to the pandemic. Each figure skater’s program consisted of seven mandatory elements. The skaters’ performances were flawless.
Deniss Kargins from Liepaja, who have been attending Olga’s classes for several years, won gold. Ornella Dancenko from Riga also performed with excellence in spite of a recent surgery. She also won a gold medal.
Viktorija Borsuna from Liepaja won a silver medal. All elements in her performance were graded with excellent marks. Vika has a severe genetic disease, and her success inspired her to learn English so that it is easier to communicate in future competitions.
“The last two years were very difficult – the club almost stopped operating. We restarted our work only in March and skated mainly in summer. In regard of that, the results are very satisfying. I am proud of the skaters,” says Olga Necaeva.
During the competition, the coach established contacts with her foreign colleagues. The way of work with children with special needs otherwhere pleasantly surprises her. “They receive support from the state to cover the rent of an ice hall for trainings two times a week, while we keep walking around and begging in order to continue our work,” Olga concludes with sadness. “I am very thankful to the charity foundation BeOpen and the programme “Green Lamp” for their support – these were their followers that donated before the pandemic and helped the children who despite their diagnosis represent Latvia in international competitions.”
These are not the first medals of the young figure skaters. They have been representing Latvia in international competitions for several years. The team does not receive the state support; rather they keep competing in spite of the lack of it. It is not easy to cover all the costs. In Riga, the rent of the ice hall costs 222 euros/hour, but in Liepaja –140 euros/hour during the day and 170 euros/hour in the evening. There are also other expenses – travel costs, competition fees etc. It is important to note that all children with special needs (cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities) train under Olga Necaeva for free.
Figure skating significantly impacts children health – everyone can see that. It does not refer solely to the medals. Children become more confident, their coordination improves and their musculoskeletal system strengthens. There is also more joy in children and their families’ lives.
Currently, the coach Olga Necaeva is ready to keep preparing her team for the Winter Olympics, which has been moved from 2021 to January, 2023. It will take place in Kazan. Latvian figure skaters have a great potential to succeed, but the coach has to be sure she will be able to cover all the expenses.
Olga Necaeva is a figure skating master. She is internationally renowned, and she was a member of the national team as well. For more than 20 years, she has been the head of the club Twizzle, where besides everyday training sessions she also teaches children with special needs and does that for free.