Teen puts his career ambitions on ice

Sara Van Cleve
Posted 8/16/12

A decade ago, Evan Walter witnessed something that sparked a passion — the 2002 winter Olympics. When he was only 4 years old, Walter, of Coal …

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Teen puts his career ambitions on ice


A decade ago, Evan Walter witnessed something that sparked a passion — the 2002 winter Olympics.

When he was only 4 years old, Walter, of Coal Creek Canyon, watched the figure-skating competitions of the Salt Lake City games, and he has been on the ice ever since.

“I really liked Michelle Kwan and the whole program,” he said. “I couldn’t stop watching, and I started learning to skate here (at the Apex Center Ice Arena).”

Walter, who is now 14 and entering his freshman year at Ralston Valley High School, has been competing since he was 7 years old.

He recently skated on home ice during the Colorado Figure Skating Championships at the Apex Center Aug. 2-4.

The regional event drew 200 skaters from across the country.

When he took to the ice, decked out in a black vest and pants with a white shirt and black bow tie, he glided gracefully across the rink, despite being all legs, his coach, Dia McGaughey, said.

Walter skated three times during the championships, including once against his partner, Lauren Hogg, 13, of Arvada.

The competitors at the Apex Center championships were not ranked, McGaughey said, because it is more of a chance for skaters to adjust to the new international judging system, which is used in the Winter Olympics.

They also get to test their skills to see if they qualify to move up a level for the next competition, coming up in October.

“This competition is really fun because it’s at our home rink,” Hogg said. She and Walter have been skating together for nine months.

“I like skating with a partner because you get more out of it and it’s a lot more fun.”

Walter said one of his favorite parts of skating is the dance portion, for which he and Hogg started training separately about three years ago under McGaughey, the Apex skating director.

“It was fun to do it. It was peaceful and didn’t take much effort back then; now it does,” he said with a laugh.

Though Walter has fun on the ice, he said, the fun doesn’t come without hard work.

Between lessons, practice and helping teach, Walter skates nearly 40 hours a week during the summer and about 30 hours a week during the school year. But he still has time for friends and a girlfriend, McGaughey said with a smile.

He also does a few hours of off-ice conditioning and takes ballet lessons to strengthen his legs and prepare for jumps.

“It’s rewarding,” McGaughey said. “He doesn’t give up, and he works extremely hard. I’m extremely proud.”

Walter also helps teach children in Apex’s Learn to Skate program.

“It’s fun to watch the little kids progress and experience the sport I love,” he said.

He said he would like to become a skating coach, after he achieves another goal.

“I’m planning on going to CU in the Springs because of all the training centers down there,” he said. “I’m trying to get to the World Figure Skating Championships.”

His immediate goal, though, is to make it to the final round of sectionals in October.

During Walter’s last competition, the Lake Placid Figure Skating Championships, he took first and second place in solo skating, and placed third with Hogg in the pairs competition.

Walter said he averages about eight competitions each year, going to at least two out of state.


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