Young Detroit skaters have own Olympic dreams

Skaters at Detroit Skating Club inspired by training mates who competed in Winter Games in Sochi

DETROIT - There is a legacy at the Detroit Skating Club of skaters who have gone on to achieve Olympic greatness.

Tara Lipinski, Todd Eldredge, Meryl Davis, Charlie White -- just to name a few.

There are banners on the walls above the ice reminding younger skaters of who came before them and what is possible for them.

During the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Canadian figure skater Patrick Chan won the silver medal. 

Chan is one of thirteen skaters from five different nations that trained at the Detroit Skating Club before competing in the Sochi games.

Sharing the ice with such incredible athletes is an inspiration to younger skaters, like 11-year-old novice level skater old Chloe Roslin.
"To see how they train, and all the ups and downs of their training, and how much they love this sport, it's just something that I wanna be able to simulate when I get to that level," said Roslin. "I've had dreams of going to the Olympics since I was really little."

For junior ice dancing pair Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker, just watching these Olympians motivates them reach the highest level they can.

"In ways they don't need to necessarily say stuff because their skating speaks for themselves when it comes to inspiration," said Hawayek.

Hawayek and Baker are already top competitors in the junior ice dance division.

According to their website, they won the 2014 US Junior Ice Dance Championship, and took silver at 2013 Junior Grand Prix. Now, they have their sights set on the 2018 Olympic Games.

"For us it's like, 'OK, we want to be the best, we want to be at that same level as them, we want to be at the Olympics,'" said Baker.

Junior pairs skaters Nikita Cheban and Kaitlin Budd have similar goals. Cheban traveled all the way from St. Petersburg, Russia, to train at the DSC, and he is already starting to see his hard work and sacrifice pay off.

"When I was in St. Petersburg ... it was a dream," said Cheban. "So now I am happy that we got to the level that we are now, and we will improve ourselves more."

Cheban and Budd are also training hard to make it to the 2018 Olympics, and they look to the current Olympians for motivation.

"It's really cool to see, and you can learn from what they do on the ice and just incorporate that into your own training," said Budd.

Even the youngest skaters at this rink have their goals set high, like intermediate pairs skater Pelagia Pamel. She is only 11-year-old, but she already has dreams of one day standing on an Olympic podium. And while she may not be headed there anytime soon, it's definitely a goal within reach.

"Here, it feels like anything is possible since all of the athletes have achieved something," said Pamel.

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