Who’s Who: Caryn Kadavy
Why care: Olympic competitor in the 1988 Calgary Winter Games, Kadavy is an internationally acclaimed figure skater, winning numerous awards throughout her career, both as an amateur and professional.
Erie Link: Born and (mostly) raised in Erie. She’s the only member of her family born in Erie—most hail from Pittsburgh. Caryn currently lives and works in Erie, teaching skating locally and in Jamestown.
Bling-bling: Her most noted accomplishments include finishing as a top competitor in the World Figure Skating Championships three times, making the top three in the U.S. Skating Championships four years in a row, and taking first place in the Moscow Cup, Skate Canada International, and the U.S. Olympic Festival.
She’s a natural: Kadavy took to the ice easily, progressing rapidly after her father first plopped on the ice in a pair of double blade skates at the age of two.
Practice, practice, practice: Stranded from the ice during the summer months, Kadavy lived in Pittsburgh with her grandparents to train while the rinks in Erie were closed.
Climb to the top: When she needed more ice time and more consistent coaching to progress, Kadavy and her mother moved to Rockford, Illinois, following her coach Charlene Guarino. From Rockford, mother and daughter moved to Chicago to train with Debbie Stoery.
“She sacrificed her career for me,” said Kadavy of her mother during her early training years, “so it was hard when I didn’t make it to nationals.”
Big break: Training with Carlo Fassi at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.
Frustrated at a mediocre showings, Kadavy and her family nearly gave up the dream. However when Fassi spotted her at a competition, he saw her potential. Progressing rapidly under Fassi’s instruction, she made it to Nationals within the first year, and in four years, she was at the Olympic Games.
Simply couldn’t do it alone: Although Kadavy’s work ethic and passion fueled her success, she credits her family, friends, coaches, and sponsors for helping her get to—and stay—at the top.
“I am very lucky that I had such a strong family that helped and sacrificed so much for me,” said Kadavy.
Success is: “Having goals and achieving them under a certain amount of pressure,” said Kadavy, “Success comes in so many different levels, in so many different ways.”
In 2010: Kadavy teaches skating in Erie, Jamestown, and also teaches clinics across the country, including Lake Placid. “When I teach a new element, it can take [the students] a while, but it’s very rewarding to see them get it.”
Always a home in Erie: Kadavy will always love Erie. Even if she and her husband moved away, she says they would keep a condo locally—and know that they always have a home in the Erie community.
“Erie is a wonderful town—it’s simple. It’s big enough, but also intimate, being by the lake. It’s easy to live here.”
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