By Christie Sausa
Members of Team USA past and present made the final appearances of the Lake Placid Saturday Night Ice Show season.
Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue, Ashley Cain, Ryan Bradley and Kimmie Messiner performed in front of enthusiastic crowds from mid-July through late-August.
Hubbell and Donohue, three-time U.S. medalists and World competitors, skated their show program to Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down” and an energetic swing medley program that was a modified version of last season’s short dance.
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue
The team endured a difficult season last year due to Hubbell’s injury, a torn labrum in her left hip. This meant that they could not accept the available slot at the World Championships that was vacated by Olympic champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White.
Still, they are determined to focus on the positives and this coming season.
“Last season was a struggle, because the focus was off our skating and onto my injury,” Hubbell said. “We were happy with the effort we put in, and unfortunately sometimes that’s all you can get. We’re not going to dwell on it or missed opportunities.”
The show in Lake Placid marked the first time they had performed since winning the Four Continents Championships in January.
“We want to qualify for the Grand Prix Final,” Hubbell said.
“And we want to place in the top two at the U.S. Championships,” Donohue added.
Of course, the team also has its sights set on the 2018 Olympic Games.
“We feel like if we put our work in and pay attention to staying healthy, we will be able to reach our goal of the Olympics,” Hubbell said.
Cain entertained the audience by skating two programs — one to Beyonce’s “I Was Here” and the other to Michael Buble’s “Feelin’ Good” — with her characteristic elegance.
After a productive 2013–14 season, Cain deserved a semi-vacation in Lake Placid. She placed third at the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy, which allowed her to qualify for Grand Prix assignments this season.
“I medaled at my first senior international competition, so that was really great,” Cain said. “I went on to nationals and had a great short. I was sick that week; I had the flu, so my long wasn’t what I wanted. But I learned a lot from the experience and channeled that into making me a better skater this season.”
Cain was awarded two Grand Prix events for this fall: the Cup of China and the Rostelecom Cup in Russia.
“I can’t say how excited I am,” Cain said. “Just to be skating amongst the best skaters in the sport is absolutely incredible to me. I’m really excited for the season to begin.”
A veteran Lake Placid Saturday Night Ice Show guest skater, 2011 U.S. champion Ryan Bradley skated to a rock ‘n’ roll medley and Avicii’s “Wake Me Up.”
In addition to performing, Bradley offers private lessons and a seminar to skaters participating in the Lake Placid Summer Skating Camp.
“I enjoy working with the kids — they are really sweet and make the job fun,” Bradley said. “(In the seminar) we did some technique work, played some training games to keep them active and having fun.”
During the summer, Bradley is a resident show skater in Sun Valley, Idaho, a place he considers “the Lake Placid of the Rocky Mountains,” because of its similar legendary skating history and multiple ice surfaces.
Bradley spends the rest of his time traveling for shows and other skating events. This year, he is also working with the Ice Theatre of New York.
Meissner, the 2006 World champion and 2007 U.S. champion, starred in the final Lake Placid Saturday Night Ice Show of the season, skating to “Applause” by Lady Gaga and “Experience” by Ludovico Einaudi.
Meissner is still busy these days skating in shows and coaching.
“I’m coaching a ton and finishing school,” Meissner said. “I’ve been show skating also and have more stuff coming up in the winter season.”
Meissner started in school studying exercise science then switched to English. She has also been working on a writing career and worked as a figure skating researcher for NBC at the 2014 Olympics.
“I’ve been working with local newspapers, writing stories,” Meissner said. “I’m also the new editor of our local newsletter in Bel Air, Md. I really enjoy writing.”