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Janet Champion -- Child Skating Star and Skating Coach

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Child Skating Star Janet Champion and Gary Johnson - Ice Follies 1958

Child Skating Star Janet Champion and Gary Johnson - Ice Follies 1958

Janet Champion Personal Collection

"The Shirley Temple of the Skating World":

Janet Champion enjoyed a truly unique career as a professional performer, touring the United States as a child star with Shipstads and Johnson Ice Follies. She skated with Ice Follies for nine years performing innovative skating and acrobatic moves on the ice.

Newspapers across the United States used phrases such as “cute as a button”, “loaded with talent” and “cool as an old campaigner as she deliberately stole the hearts of the audience” to describe Janet’s abilities on the ice.

How Janet Became a Professional Skater:

Janet started tap, acrobatic and ballet at age three. Soon, she was given a chance to perform on roller skates and then tried ice skating.

When she was eight years old she won the Grand Prize at the California State Exchange Club Talent Contest. The prize included a trophy and a small cash prize. Accepting the money automatically made her a professional in figure skating because at that time, a skater couldn't accept money for anything even if it wasn't skating.

What Made Janet So Special:

Janet performed acrobatics, back handsprings, and a back sommersault on the ice.

After she won the California State Exchange Club Contest, the only skating rink in San Diego closed, so she began skating in Los Angeles. Her coach arranged for her to be seen by the owners of Ice Follies and she impressed them with more than ten back handsprings on the ice.

When Janet toured with Ice Follies, her mother always traveled with her. She attended schools in every city as she toured the U.S.

Home Town -- San Diego, California:

After touring with Ice Follies, Janet returned to her home town of San Diego, and began coaching. Janet writes, 'If I wrote a chapter of my life about how I started teaching, I'd name it "Beauty School Drop Out" because I was in beauty school when I was enticed to begin teaching skating in my hometown of San Diego.'

Training:

During the years that she was with Ice Follies, Janet was taught by the many stars of the show and was sent to the Broadmoor World Arena to train with Olympic coach Edi Scholden. Edi Scholden was killed in the 1961 plane crash where the entire U.S. Figure Skating Team perished on the way to the World Championships.

Professional Achievements:

Janet has served as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Professional Skaters Association, won the 2003 Professional Skaters Association Lifetime Achievement Award, and is an examiner for coaches' qualifications.

She designed the Moves in the Field test structure for U.S. Figure Skating and is a Master Rated Coach.

Janet has conducted seminars for skaters and coaches around the United States and in England, Scotland, Canada, Japan and Mexico.

Coaching Philosophy:

Janet’s philosophy as a skating coach is to help her students maintain a positive attitude and feel the joy and love of the sport of Figure Skating while developing into the best athletes each can be. Setting goals and working hard to achieve them is a part of Figure Skating which builds valuable life skills.

Hobbies:

Janet's hobbies include photography, cooking, playing piano and digital music editing.

Husband and Family:

Janet was married to Dr. Louis Schlom for over thirty years. He passed away in October of 2009. The couple had two daughters, Katrina and Kirsten. Kirsten is a Black Belt in Karate and won the U.S. Junior Ladies Karate Championship. She has her Masters degree in Education and is the language arts teacher for gifted children in a Denver school. Katrina has found her passion in teaching ballet and skating. Step-son, Dr. Darrell Schlom is a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State University.

Janet Champion, Skating Coach:

Janet has trained skaters from beginning group instruction and turned them into Gold Medalists in School Figures (the basic elements of figure skating from which our name is derived) and Free Skating.

Janet’s San Diego students won Regional, Sectional and National competitions. Many of them won medals in International Competitions including Junior Worlds. Some of Janet’s students have become ice show stars around the world.

Janet’s coaching gave the San Diego Figure Skating Club their first National medal with Cindy Moyers’ (Stuart) third place in the 1975 United States National Junior Ladies event. This was followed by two other National Junior Medal winners, Jenny Newman and Joyce Newell.

Among the students Janet developed from the ground up, the highest competitive ranking was with Eric Larson, who was World Junior Champion and twice World Team Alternate in Senior Men.

Some of the other skaters Janet worked with while teaching in San Diego include the 1976 Olympic Champion, John Curry, National Champions Linda Fratianne, Rosalyn Sumners and Tiffany Chin (who Janet worked with through her National Junior Title and World Junior win.)

During these years Janet was invited to teach in training camps for skaters with coaches such as Kathy Casey, John Nicks, Frank Carroll, Christy Kjarsgard-Ness and Carlo Fassi.

Because of Janet’s many achievements with the San Diego students, Carlo Fassi asked her to move to Colorado Springs in 1987 to be his assistant and coach at the famous Broadmoor World Arena. Janet accepted the offer and was also appointed Show Director for the Broadmoor Skating Club. She worked with champions from nine nations at the old Broadmoor as well as National skaters such as Scott Davis, Nicole Bobek, Caryn Kadavy, Jill Trenary. Janet coached Ann Patrice McDonough for eight years through her National Junior title.

Presently, Janet is on the coaching staff at the Colorado Springs World Arena where top skaters in the U.S. train.

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