Ice skaters from all over the United States and especially Colorado Springs are mourning the loss of “one of our own.”
When the news came out that the policeman killed in the senseless Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado Springs on Friday, November 27, 2015, was 1992 US National Ice Dance Champion, Garrett Swasey, the ice skating world and Colorado Springs figure skaters were shocked and stunned.
Garrett Swasey lived in Colorado Springs and trained at the beautiful Cadet Ice Arena on the grounds of the United States Air Force Academy under Olympic figure skating coach Sandy Hess in the early 1990s, and then returned to the city of Colorado Springs again to live his adult life and raise a family in the early 2000s.
A Personal note about Garrett Swasey from Jo Ann Schneider Farris Colorado Springs Ice Skating Examiner:
I taught skating with Garrett Swasey from 1991 to 1994 at the Plaza Ice Chalet in downtown Colorado Springs and then in the early 2000s, we taught together at the Ice Arena at Chapel Hills Mall in Colorado Springs. I am SO SAD and shocked to hear he was killed in the line of duty.
Garrett was a great figure skater and ice dancer. I remember how excited all of us who skated at “The Plaza” were when he won the US National Junior Dance title with his ice dancing partner Christine Fowler. Garrett was a “people person” and dressed up as Santa one year and came right out of a snow packed Zamboni and surprised and delighted all the children at the rink!
He and I were both Star Trek Next Generation fans and talked about the show between the lessons we gave at “The Plaza.” When the manager of the Plaza rink took the entire staff skiing during the Thanksgiving Weekend 1992 to Copper Mountain, I remember Garrett wearing a crazy ski hat and continuing to talk about Star Trek as we rode up the ski lift together!
When Garrett became the manager of the Ice Arena at the Chapel Hills Mall for short time around 2000-01, he even held my baby daugther in his arms while I gave ice skating lessons at the mall rink!
In addition to teaching figure skating, Garrett was an accomplished ice hockey player. I’ve heard that he continued to teach a handful of figure skaters, ice dancers, and hockey players at our city owned arena, Sertich Ice Center even though he worked full time as a policeman. It has been said that because it is so difficult to earn a living as a full-time skating coach in Colorado Springs, that Swasey moved on to a career in law enforcement.
My friend Lisa Valentine Krenz, who managed both The Plaza Ice Chalet and the Ice Arena at Chapel Hills Mall, tells me that Garrett wished to make his family and parents proud. I do believe he achieved that goal.
Garrett is mentioned in my recent autobiography, My Skating Life: About My Fifty-Plus Years of Skating.
- My memories of ice dance figure skating champion Garrett Swasey
- Chapel Hills ice rink closes in Colorado Springs
- The rink: It’s where I belong
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