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Airline Loses a Figure Skater's Skates - She Competes Anyway In Rental Skates

Jordan McCreary Is a True Champion!

By

Jordan Noelle McCreary

Jordan Noelle McCreary Competed In the 2011 National Solo Dance Championships In Rental Skates and Wore a Dress Off the Rack When Delta Airlines Misplaced Her Figure Skates

Photo by JO ANN Schneider Farris
Thirteen year old Jordan Noelle McCreary worked hard all year long to qualify for the 2011 National Solo Ice Dance Championships.  She took part in US Figure Skating's Solo Dance Competition Series in 2011 placing 1st in one of the qualifying competition events, and 2nd in three other competitions.  

After receiving the exciting news that her scores had earned a spot at the national solo event, she continued working hard by skating every day and taking lessons four days a week.  Finally it came time to leave for Colorado.

On Thursday, September 22, 2011, the McCreary family boarded a Delta Airlines plane from Maryland and headed for Colorado.  Jordan was excited!

The airline authorities in Maryland would not permit Jordan's skates and competition costume to be carried on to the plane; those items were required to be included as checked luggage.  That decision caused a competitive figure skater's "nightmare."  When the plane arrived in Denver Jordan's skates and competition costume did not arrive. The items were missing.

The airline made it clear that they would search for the lost skates and competition items, but made no promises that anything would be found in less than 24 hours.

On Friday morning, September 23, Jordan and her mother, Olga, went to the competition's registration desk and explained that Jordan would have to withdraw from the entire competition since her figure skates, ice dance competition skating dress, hair decorations, and makeup were missing due to the airline's error.

Jordan was disappointed.

That's when some people in the figure skating community decided to do something to make it possible for Jordan to compete.

Ice dance coach, Charles Fetter, (who is not Jordan's coach, but happened to be near the registration desk) went to the Colorado Springs World Arena Ice Hall and asked if anyone had a pair of skates Jordan could borrow.

In the Ice Hall, he approached Jack Courtney, the owner of Jack's Arena Pro Shop and asked for suggestions. Courtney suggested that Jordan try skating and competing on rental skates.  He found a pair of Jackson rental skates that fit Jordan and sharpened the skates.

Carolyn Kruse, of the Broadmoor Skating Club, was at the registration desk and also stepped in to help.  She went to the Skaters Choice vendor booth (that was not open yet) and found a skating dress that was appropriate for ice dancing and that fit Jordan.

Wearing a dress off the rack, rental skates, over-the-boot tights, and hair decoration crystals (also from Skaters Choice), Jordan stepped on the official competition warm up practice ice and adjusted to the skates during that 20 minute warm up.  About an hour later, she competed!

Jordan placed 5th in the first dance, the Cha Cha, and 4th in the second dance, the Fiesta Tango.  She placed 5th overall.  Although she did not qualify for the final round, it is obvious that figure skater Jordan Noelle McCreary triumphed!

Further Reading:

Rental skates are okay to use for those who just want to try out ice skating; however, as soon as it is determined that a skater is serious about learning to figure skate, it is essential that the skater skates in his or her own skates.

It is unheard of for a figure skater to compete in a competition like the National Solo Dance Championships in rental skates. Even borrowing someone else's skates would have been a challenge for Jordan.

If possible, when traveling to figure skating competitions, skaters should carry their skates on the plane as carry-on luggage. In Jordan McCreary's case, the Transportation Security Administration would not permit her figure skates to be carried on to the plane. Security restrictions vary depending on the airline, airport, and local TSA authorities.

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