Enjoy this story from our 2014 archives.
Kathy Kotzman likes to crochet. She enjoys making baby blankets to give away and recently learned to make booties, too. Kathy also likes to ice skate.
“It makes you feel free,” she says, “You can do anything you want.”
That feeling of freedom may be what has led the 52-year old woman from the Shiloh area of York to earn what is her third gold medal in figure skating in as many years.
Kathy began ice skating as an adult. She says she likes to exercise, that it gets her out of the house and keeps her active. She practices every Monday night with “Coach Lynn” at the York City Ice Arena, where she and other competitors will meet on Monday, February 24 at 6pm for the York County Special Olympics competition (rescheduled due to the snow).
The most recent medal Kathy earned was placed around her neck last week at the state competition in Johnstown, PA, (which typically follows county) when she came in first in Level One Figure Skating. According to the Official Special Olympic Winter Sports Rules, a Level One skater must perform all required elements in Badges 1-5 which includes elements such as both forward and backward swizzles and a one-foot forward snowplow stop. Free-Style skaters are further judged on a program with emphasis on balance, glide, and beginning moves done well. The three-day winter sports event draws about 300 athletes and 150 coaches for competitions also include alpine and cross-country skiing, speed skating, snowshoeing, and individual skills events.
Kelly Raubenstine, who works with Kathy as part of her participation in Bell’s Support Empower Living Fundamentals (SELF) program, says Kathy’s medal will hang on a wall next to her other two golds, a collection of silver and bronze ones, and some other trophies, all earned through her efforts with the Special Olympics. Kathy has been participating with the SELF program, which assists individuals with intellectual disability who currently live on their own or with their family, since her father died about ten years ago.
Kathy lights up a bit when she talks about skating, more a result of what seems to be a glow from inside than from her new gold medal.
Read more about Bell’s SELF program.