Olympian Emily Hughes to Attend Harvard University in the Fall While Continuing Skating Career

Emily Hughes
Photo by Guang Niu, Getty Images Sport
(4/26/2007) - U.S. silver medalist and 2006 Olympian Emily Hughes announced today she will attend Harvard University in the fall as a full-time student while continuing to pursue her promising skating career. While at school, she will train under coaches Mark Mitchell and Peter Johansson at the Skating Club of Boston. She will continue to skate with longtime coach Bonni Retzkin, who has been her coach since starting out in the sport as a young skater, while at home in Great Neck, N.Y.

“I'm really excited about going to college and starting to work with Mark and Peter,” said Hughes, who finished ninth at the 2007 World Figure Skating Championships. “Bonni's been great. She knows how close I feel to her, and whenever I'm home I'll take from her. It's great that she supports me, and she's been behind me the whole time. Mark choreographed my short program last year, so I have worked with him already. I think he and Peter are great coaches; plus, the Skating Club of Boston is really close to Harvard. It's fortunate because they're world-class coaches, and I'm really excited to start a new chapter.”

Hughes applied to seven universities and was accepted to all of them: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, Barnard College and NYU. Her immediate family has close ties to many of those schools. Her sister Sarah, the 2002 Olympic figure skating champion, is a student at Yale. Her oldest sister, Rebecca Parker, went to Harvard for her undergraduate degree and Columbia for law school. Her brother David and her parents Amy and John all graduated from Cornell.

“All of the schools were great, and trying to narrow it down was difficult,” Hughes said. “Not only do I want to get a good education, I want to be able to skate and train as hard as I can. After visiting Harvard and visiting the Skating Club of Boston, I realized that Harvard was the most ideal place for me because I can go to class, get an education, the rink is really close, and there is a great skating community.”

Hughes will move to Cambridge, Mass., during the weekend of Sept. 8 for new student orientation, and then begin classes on Sept. 10. She will take a full load of courses and is undecided on a major. She will live in the dorms with a roommate assigned by Harvard.

Other skating greats who have attended and graduated from Harvard University include 1992 Olympic silver medalist Paul Wylie and two-time Olympic champion Dick Button. Hughes had the opportunity to talk about the school with Wylie while performing at “An Evening of Champions,” an annual exhibition fundraiser held at Harvard to raise money for the Jimmy Fund.

“I think education is extremely important,” Hughes said. “I'm skating right now, but you never know what will happen in the future. Having a college degree and getting that experience and opening my mind to new and different things will help me on the ice and in the future.”

Other Skating News

Gregory and Petukhov Partner with Erchonia
U.S. ice dancing silver medalists Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov announced in March a year-long partnership with Erchonia Medical, Inc., the leading low-level laser technology manufacturer.

The team learned about Erchonia last summer when Gregory broke her left foot after a 50-pound weight fell off a rack. Instead of having the foot put into a cast, chiropractic neurologist Dr. Bruce Carrick addressed the fracture with Erchonia's low level laser treatment and had Gregory training in four days.

“A foot cast could have destroyed our competitive season because I would have been off the ice for three weeks,” Gregory said. “The Erchonia laser treatment made it possible for me to pick up my training right where I left off.”

Charlie Shanks, VP of Erchonia, said, “We are delighted to be a part of such a talented team and we think Melissa and Denis are a great fit for Erchonia. In such a competitive sport, it is essential for athletes to have the latest and best medical technology available. We are happy to provide it.”

Michelle Kwan Continues Relationship With Maxxis
Five-time World and nine-time U.S. champion Michelle Kwan announced in March her continued relationship with Maxxis International. The endorsement deal marks the third year of the association between Kwan and Maxxis. Maxxis International is a producer of high quality automotive, light truck, motorcycle, ATV, bicycle, lawn and garden, and industrial tires.

Belbin and Agosto Launch New Web Site
Reigning World bronze medalists Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto launched a fully updated version of their web site, www.tanithandben.com, in mid-March, just in time for their successful World Championship performance. Both Belbin and Agosto have also ventured into MySpace, with pages at www.myspace.com/tanithb and www.myspace.com/162147916

Archambault and Leftheris Win $4,000 Grants
Trustees of the William E. Simon Olympic Endowment have awarded Erica Archambault and Themistocles Leftheris $4,000 grants for training and competition expenses for the coming season.

Simon, the former U.S. Olympic Committee president and U.S. Secretary of Treasury, established the fund in 1998 to offer financial assistance to elite athletes so that they may continue to pursue their athletic endeavors.

Archambault and Leftheris were selected as the recipients of this award based on their competitive successes and their skills, ability and motivation to become achievers and contributors in figure skating and in their lives.

Archambault was the 2003 U.S. junior ladies champion and placed 11th at the 2006 State Farm U.S. Championships as a senior. She began skating at the age of 5 and now teaches skating in the Basic Skills Program. Archambault is the athlete representative on the Broadmoor Skating Club Ethics Committee and volunteers at Broadmoor SC and the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo., where she resides.

Leftheris is the 2007 U.S. bronze medalist in pairs with partner Naomi Nari Nam. He started skating at age 12 after watching the 1994 Olympic Winter Games. He is involved with the Pathways Mentoring Program, where he visits children with incarcerated parents, makes donations to Green Peace and is expected to graduate in 2008 from Long Beach City College with a degree in communications.

Leftheris paired with Nam in 2005. The team placed sixth at the 2007 Four Continents Championships and third at the 2006 Skate America.

International Skating News

Two-time Olympic medalist Irina Slutskaya announced April 9 that she will not perform in the 2007 Champions on Ice tour because she will be expecting her first child with husband Sergei Micheev this fall. Slutskaya, 28, will stay at home in Russia during her pregnancy.

2006 Olympic gold medalist Evgeny Plushenko, 24, announced he will return to the competitive circuit for the 2007-08 season. Plushenko told the Associated Press that he was disappointed by the Russian men's showing at international events in the 2006-07 season, including finishes of 18th and 19th at the 2007 World Championships.

Canada announced April 24 the retirement of Valerie Marcoux, who won three Canadian pairs titles with partner Craig Buntin. They were the silver medalists in 2007 and finished sixth at the 2007 World Championships.

Marcoux is moving to Columbus, Ohio, to coach and Buntin is looking for a new skating partner.

Skate Canada also announced the retirement of two-time Canadian pairs medalists Utako Wakamatsu and Jean-Sebastien Fecteau. Both are planning to continue their education.

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