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Coach

Olson
 
Background

Employment History

  • Latino International Skating Coalition
  • Artist
Web References
December, 2007- Articles and mentions in ...
www.latinoskating.org [cached]
December, 2007- Articles and mentions in anticipation for 2008 United States National Championships (Rohene Ward and (Eliot Halverson)
...
L to R: Kirsten Olson, Rohene Ward, Eliot Halverson, Molly Oberstar
...
Skaters Eliot Halverson, Molly Oberstar, Kirsten Olson and Rohene Ward were on the ice at the Wells Fargo Winter Skate rink to reveal the four buttons.
...
KSTP - Channel 5 (ABC) Video Interview of Rohene Ward
...
Kare 11 (Minnesota Television Station) - Video of Eliot Halverson and Rohene Ward
...
November 15-18, 2007- 2008 Midwestern Sectional Championships (Rohene Ward and (Eliot Halverson)
...
Rohene Ward is fourth (66.21) and Michael Peters fifth (63.26).
...
Other competitors include Wesley Campbell, Jonathan Cassar, Nicholas Krongard, Casey McCraw, Braden Overett, Michael Peters, John Salway, Rohene Ward and Ben Woolwine.
...
Rohene Ward of Minneapolis will be going to nationals for the fourth time at the senior level after placing second in his free skate and second overall Saturday at the U.S. Figure Skating Midwestern Sectional Championships at the Onyx Ice Arena.
...
November 13, 2007- Pioneer Press Article (Rohene Ward)
Rohene Ward, 24, who grew up in North Minneapolis, fell in love with skating the moment he stepped on the ice for the first time.His first skates cost $5 from the Salvation Army, and when his family couldn't afford lessons, his coach taught him for free. (TYLER McKEAN, Pioneer Press)
...
Rohene Ward extended his arms gracefully and slowly glided across the ice in concentric circles as hip-hop music boomed in the background.
Moments later, he thrust himself into a triple axel - one of the most difficult jumps in figure skating.He skated toward his coach after a clean landing, joking that he scarfed down two corn dogs right before practice.
The 24-year-old Minneapolis skater is known for his charismatic style, athletic jumps and flexibility.Few doubt Ward's natural talent.
The question has always been whether he could hold it together on the ice, whether he could focus and stay consistent.
Looking to the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships at St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center in January, Ward says he's a more mature and prepared competitor ready to relaunch his career.
And he's thrilled he could do it on his home turf.
"This is a starting year," Ward said."I have so much more to offer the sport."
First, he must make it through the Midwestern sectionals meet, which begins today in Rochester Hills, Mich.
Ward joins a host of Minnesota skaters - from novice to senior levels - duking it out with competitors from more than 20 states to nab a spot in St. Paul.
He has competed against the top U.S. men at the national championships in 2002, 2004 and 2006 but missed qualifying for the 2007 championships.
A ticket to nationals is not guaranteed this time, either.
Ward's repertoire includes all of the acrobatic jumps and spins, as well as a dancing ability he gleaned from five years of intense ballet lessons.His gracefulness stands in sharp contrast to his muscular, edgy appearance. Skating cleanly at sectionals this week should be good enough to qualify for Nationals since most of last year's rivals won't be there, said Ward and his longtime coach, Page Lipe.
"I just need to skate clean there," Ward said."And I will.I just need to do it."
But completing perfect short and free programs - which combine for a total of about seven minutes of ice time - is not easy, as Ward discovered in 2006.
After placing ninth in the short program at the national championships, he botched nearly every jump in his free-skate program to finish last.
Commentators touted Ward's immense talent heading into the 2006 competition.They claimed he could be a wild card during an Olympic year.
The media fixated on Ward's talent, said his coach and judges, in part because of his differences: He is half-black and half-Puerto Rican; his curly brown hair is typically braided, and he often choreographs his own innovative routines.
Ward grew up in North Minneapolis, where it was more common to play basketball, football and hockey.He dabbled in hockey but settled on figure skating.
His first step onto the ice was at a community center, where he would mimic moves from other skaters.
...
His mother has remained Ward's most ardent fan, even from her Las Vegas home.
ABC aired an interview after his disastrous 2006 free skate, in which Ward remained calm and upbeat until the reporter rushed Harris into the room.
...
Ward said his turning point came in 2005, after his personal life started hurting his skating.He stayed out too late partying with friends, skipped morning practices and spent too much money on alcohol and clothes.
He worked with a life coach and studied under Robin Wagner, coach of 2002 Olympic champion Sarah Hughes, for one season.
The failures may have been a blessing because they taught him the importance of training hard and remaining humble, his mother said.
Ward said he's developed more dedication for training and worked hard to deal with his nerves.
Before, he would become distracted at competitions by chatting with anyone around him, focusing on who was watching him and second-guessing himself if he fell on a jump.
A week before sectionals, Ward skated in Bloomington before three judges for a skating critique.
He performed his short program to "The Messiah Will Come Again" and landed a quadruple toe loop, a jump only a handful of American men can complete.
...
-- Rohene Ward, senior men, Minneapolis
...
November 9, 2007- WCCO.com Article and Video (Rohene Ward)
...
"The things that I tell her, the things that she's going through are the things that I went through when I was younger," said Ward, who is Olson's coach.
Ward is also a competitor.He's been to the nationals before and plans to be there again this year skating for the hometown crowd.
"I'm ready.I'm prepared, so I've never been this prepared before, so I'm not really concerned about not going," he said.
...
"It's always good to hear what they have to say -- good or bad," said Ward.
...
October 9, 2007- Star Tribune Article (Rohene Ward)
...
It took some falls to ice the title for Rohene Ward.But when he was able to get up and continue, both he and his coach knew he'd reached a milestone.
...
Then again, Rohene Ward rarely does anything in a conventional manner.
The Minneapolis skater had matured in untold ways over the past two years, blossoming into a stronger adult and a more committed athlete.When he fell twice in a summer workout -- and twice rose and soldiered on -- coach Page Lipe met him with a hug."You are truly a competitor now," she said, triggering a realization that still stirs his emotions.
Ward would have lost his composure after a tumble in his younger days.With a newly evolving mental toughness to buttress his sky-high jumps and soulful artistry, he enters the Upper Great Lakes Regional Championships, which open today, feeling like a real competitor at last.That's just in time to begin his qualifying process for the U.S. championships in St. Paul.
"That was one of the best things I ever heard, because all these years, that's what I've been trying to achieve," said Ward, 24."When she said that, I knew it was true.That's why it meant so much.I honestly believed it, and that breakthrough made a huge difference for me."
Ward spent Monday at his home rink, Parade Ice Garden, preparing for the regionals in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.He is one of only two senior men competing, meaning he will advance to the Midwestern Sectionals in November.The top four senior men at Midwesterns will qualify for the national championships in January at Xcel Energy Center.
Nearly two years have passed since Ward last skated at the U.S. championships.He finished 17th in 2006 in a performance that typified his career.Ward seduced the audience with his enormous charisma, but once he fell in his free skate, his focus evaporated and his program unraveled.
His love for competition kept him in the sport through years of inconsistency.He'd grown tired of settling for something less than his full potential.After setting a two-year plan for personal growth, he enlist
LISC - Bios Page
www.latinoskating.org, 28 Feb 2008 [cached]
Rohene Ward - 06/28/83
...
Rohene Ward - 24 year old (6/28/83) - Senior Ranked Men's Single Skater (USFSA) who skates out of Minneapolis, Minnesota
LISC Articles & Press Release Page
www.latinoskating.org [cached]
(Photo - Kirsten Olson of Savage talks with coach Rohene Ward before performing her short program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Sunday night. (©SCOTT TAKUSHI, Pioneer Press)
...
In sync with herself - Star Tribune Article (Rohene Ward)
...
"Rohene is a very positive person, which has really helped me with the mental and emotional part of skating," said Olson, a sophomore at Burnsville High School.
...
Star Tribune Video - (Rohene Ward)Figure skater Rohene Ward, 24, from Minneapolis' North Side talks about his start on the ice and his hopes for the future, including the 2010 Olympics.
...
KARE Channel 11 Extra video feature titled "Practice Makes Perfect" (Jan. 17, 2008): (Rohene Ward)
This five-minute story on Rohene includes footage of him skating in April 1996 as well as practicing for 2008 Nationals, a visit to his old neighborhood, and quotes from his coach, Page Lipe.
...
There was no roadmap to figure skating glory, yet, somehow, Rohene Ward has found his way down that path.
...
ST. PAUL (WCCO) , Rohene Ward was just a young and upcoming skater when we first met him 10 years ago.Now, at the age of 24, he is set to compete in the upcoming U.S. Figure Skating Championships at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
At the same time, he's also coaching another young skater anxious for her moment in the spotlight.
...
Not everybody can compete and coach at the same time, either, but Rohene is both a pupil and a teacher these days.He started coaching Kirsten Olson this past June, his first competitive skater in five years of coaching.
Rohene also choreographs programs for both Olson and himself as well.His dual role as a student and teacher has appeared to be beneficial for everyone on and off the ice.
"She's helped me out a lot on the ice, because I have to make sure that I have to show her that what I'm telling her is true," said Rohene.
...
In the time it took Rohene Ward to hand the CD with his program music to an Xcel Energy Center worker and skate onto the ice, six people took seats about 15 rows up, at the end of the rink where one of the hockey goals is usually anchored.
...
December, 2007- Articles and mentions in anticipation for 2008 United States National Championships (Rohene Ward and (Eliot Halverson)
...
L to R: Kirsten Olson, Rohene Ward, Eliot Halverson, Molly Oberstar
...
Skaters Eliot Halverson, Molly Oberstar, Kirsten Olson and Rohene Ward were on the ice at the Wells Fargo Winter Skate rink to reveal the four buttons.
...
KSTP - Channel 5 (ABC) Video Interview of Rohene Ward
...
Kare 11 (Minnesota Television Station) - Video of Eliot Halverson and Rohene Ward
...
November 15-18, 2007- 2008 Midwestern Sectional Championships (Rohene Ward and (Eliot Halverson)
...
Rohene Ward is fourth (66.21) and Michael Peters fifth (63.26).
...
Other competitors include Wesley Campbell, Jonathan Cassar, Nicholas Krongard, Casey McCraw, Braden Overett, Michael Peters, John Salway, Rohene Ward and Ben Woolwine.
...
Rohene Ward of Minneapolis will be going to nationals for the fourth time at the senior level after placing second in his free skate and second overall Saturday at the U.S. Figure Skating Midwestern Sectional Championships at the Onyx Ice Arena.
...
November 13, 2007- Pioneer Press Article (Rohene Ward)
Rohene Ward, 24, who grew up in North Minneapolis, fell in love with skating the moment he stepped on the ice for the first time.His first skates cost $5 from the Salvation Army, and when his family couldn't afford lessons, his coach taught him for free. (TYLER McKEAN, Pioneer Press)
...
Rohene Ward extended his arms gracefully and slowly glided across the ice in concentric circles as hip-hop music boomed in the background.
Moments later, he thrust himself into a triple axel - one of the most difficult jumps in figure skating.He skated toward his coach after a clean landing, joking that he scarfed down two corn dogs right before practice.
The 24-year-old Minneapolis skater is known for his charismatic style, athletic jumps and flexibility.Few doubt Ward's natural talent.
The question has always been whether he could hold it together on the ice, whether he could focus and stay consistent.
Looking to the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships at St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center in January, Ward says he's a more mature and prepared competitor ready to relaunch his career.
And he's thrilled he could do it on his home turf.
"This is a starting year," Ward said."I have so much more to offer the sport."
First, he must make it through the Midwestern sectionals meet, which begins today in Rochester Hills, Mich.
Ward joins a host of Minnesota skaters - from novice to senior levels - duking it out with competitors from more than 20 states to nab a spot in St. Paul.
He has competed against the top U.S. men at the national championships in 2002, 2004 and 2006 but missed qualifying for the 2007 championships.
A ticket to nationals is not guaranteed this time, either.
Ward's repertoire includes all of the acrobatic jumps and spins, as well as a dancing ability he gleaned from five years of intense ballet lessons.His gracefulness stands in sharp contrast to his muscular, edgy appearance. Skating cleanly at sectionals this week should be good enough to qualify for Nationals since most of last year's rivals won't be there, said Ward and his longtime coach, Page Lipe.
"I just need to skate clean there," Ward said."And I will.I just need to do it."
But completing perfect short and free programs - which combine for a total of about seven minutes of ice time - is not easy, as Ward discovered in 2006.
After placing ninth in the short program at the national championships, he botched nearly every jump in his free-skate program to finish last.
Commentators touted Ward's immense talent heading into the 2006 competition.They claimed he could be a wild card during an Olympic year.
The media fixated on Ward's talent, said his coach and judges, in part because of his differences: He is half-black and half-Puerto Rican; his curly brown hair is typically braided, and he often choreographs his own innovative routines.
Ward grew up in North Minneapolis, where it was more common to play basketball, football and hockey.He dabbled in hockey but settled on figure skating.
His first step onto the ice was at a community center, where he would mimic moves from other skaters.
...
His mother has remained Ward's most ardent fan, even from her Las Vegas home.
ABC aired an interview after his disastrous 2006 free skate, in which Ward remained calm and upbeat until the reporter rushed Harris into the room.
...
Ward said his turning point came in 2005, after his personal life started hurting his skating.He stayed out too late partying with friends, skipped morning practices and spent too much money on alcohol and clothes.
He worked with a life coach and studied under Robin Wagner, coach of 2002 Olympic champion Sarah Hughes, for one season.
The failures may have been a blessing because they taught him the importance of training hard and remaining humble, his mother said.
Ward said he's developed more dedication for training and worked hard to deal with his nerves.
Before, he would become distracted at competitions by chatting with anyone around him, focusing on who was watching him and second-guessing himself if he fell on a jump.
A week before sectionals, Ward skated in Bloomington before three judges for a skating critique.
He performed his short program to "The Messiah Will Come Again" and landed a quadruple toe loop, a jump only a handful of American men can complete.
...
-- Rohene Ward, senior men, Minneapolis
...
November 9, 2007- WCCO.com Article and Video (Rohene Ward)
...
"The things that I tell her, the things that she's going through are the things that I went through when I was younger," said Ward, who is Olson's coach.
...
Ward is also a competitor.He's been to the nationals before and plans to be there again this year skating for the hometown crowd.
"I'm ready.I'm prepared, so I've never been this prepared before, so I'm not really concerned about not going," he said.
...
"It's always good to hear what they have to say -- good or
LISC Articles & Press Release Page
www.latinoskating.org, 9 Jan 2006 [cached]
October 17-21, 2006 - 2007 Upper Great Lakes Regional Championships in St. Paul, Minnesota (Eliot Halverson and Rohene Ward)
...
Rohene Ward landed a quad toe-double toe combination but fell on his triple Axel and triple Lutz, which was downgraded.He received 10.30 points for the quad combination and is still in the hunt for the U.S. Championships.
...
July, 2006 - Rohene Ward - Snippet from Blades on Ice Magazine Monthly update:
THE BROADMOOR OPEN in Colorado Springs jump-started the coming season with a huge number of competitions from beginner to senior level held over 7 days at the end of June.Three ice surfaces were used; the World Arena, and the Olympic and NHL rinks.SENIOR MEN
The always interesting, often erratic but never boring Rohene Ward won the SP and the jumps contest but didn't skate the FS.Even when he's merely warming up off ice, he attracts a crowd of on-lookers.
February, 2006 - Rohene Ward - "Ready for the Big Time" Article in the February, 2006 - Volume 12, Issue 1 International Figure Skating Magazine
...
Ward said, "My coach, Page Lipe, has been friends with Robin (Wagner) for many, many years.
...
Wagner, probably forever immortalized in skating history by her pure shock and raw enthusiasm locker room reaction to Hughes' Salt Lake City victory, has a style much appreciated by Ward.
...
Ward grew up in the hardscrabble ghetto of North Minneapolis and has had little opportunity to share the ice with other top skaters except at competitive events."Skating was really an escape for me," said Ward, "a way to get out of the 'hood' and do something with my life."He said the chance to train with a top coach in an environment filled with titled skaters can only raise his own skill level and signal to international judges that he's serious about his future as a competitive skater.
Asked if the road to the U.S. Championships and beyond will include a trip to a barber to trim the untamed mane that makes Ward recognizable even across a crowded rink, he laughed."Oh God, no!I'm not cutting my hair and I won't change anything that has to do with who I am outside of skating," he said."To do well at nationals I know that I cannot just have a good skate.I need to have a great one.My performances should end with an exclamation point!"
One of the things that is refreshing about Ward, in addition to his candor, is a pervasive resolve to just do his own thing.A dancer since childhood, Ward uses kickboxing and weight training to stay in shape and increase his stamina.Shockingly unlike other skaters, Ward actually looked to put on weight over the last year and is proud of the seven pounds he gained.Also distinguishing him from his peers is an unapologetic appetite to eat whatever he happens to crave that day.
"So many of even the guy skaters obsess about everything they eat, or don't eat, to the point that it's obvious they have eating disorders," he explained."Not me. I'm the one pounding down cheeseburgers from a fast food drive-through on my way to the practice session, and I don't change my regimen even on competition days.
I might be eating pizza right before I skate at an event because I'm certainly not thinking, 'Oh no, what have I done?Look how much I ate —I'll never be able to jump!'" laughed Ward.
A unique skill of Ward's is an ability to create his own choreography, which he's done since age 13.Ward said he recently attended regionals mainly to watch his own students, whom he also does choreography for."One intermediate lady made it to junior nationals doing a free skate I designed to 'Firebird' by Stravinsky," said Ward proudly.His own music selections for the season are a blues number called "The Messiah Will Come Again" for the short and a tango by Piazova for the long program.
To get feedback on his programs under the new judging system, Ward has demonstrated his choreography to a local Minnesota judge who has substantial international experience.
...
Ward recollected, "They were five sizes too big so my ankles were wobbling all over the place, but I wouldn't rent skates, because these were mine, something I could call my own."
Ward, who is black and Puerto Rican, has five siblings.His parents never married.If it hadn't been for an observant skating coach on a summer camp field trip to an ice arena at age 7, his talent most likely would have remained undiscovered.
"Of course like most boys in Minnesota I also tried playing hockey," Ward said."I played on a little team for a season, but I always wanted to be the one making all the goals, the star at center ice.I sure never wanted to be the goalie!"
To get competitive for nationals, Ward has been doing complete daily run-throughs of his programs.Sometimes criticized for a history of leaving his enormous talent on the practice ice.Ward said he is more thoroughly trained than in the past, he finally believes in the caliber of his ability and his entire mindset has shifted.
...
January 10-13, 2006 - Rohene Ward - Photos and article mentions from 2006 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships - St. Louis, Missouri
...
For some reason "ROHENE WARD" flashes randomly on the Jumbotron at center ice.Subliminal messages?
5:03 p.m.While Rohene Ward of the Subliminal Jumbotron is taking his bows, a fan with a less than powerful arm accidentally pelts Michael Weiss with a beanie animal that didn't quite reach the ice.
...
Ward, a fine "practice skater," needs to increase his competitive intensity and take his career a bit more seriously.He placed ninth with 66.11 points. Free Skate Report - Rohene Ward, who was ninth after the short, fell to 17th and last place with a disastrous free skate that featured three falls, four Level 2 elements and two Level 1 elements.The 22 year-old enjoys a near-Olympian reputation among some skating aficionados and is reputed to be capable of high, clean quad combinations; triple Axels and spins in both directions; the ability to change edges at will; and much more.Unfortunately, while these moves can be done as one-offs, he lacks the training to execute complete programs.Perhaps his fans should circulate a "Best of Rohene's Practices" compilation tape to prove his prowess.
Robin Wagner, who trained Ward at The Ice House in Hackensack, N.J. in the weeks leading up to U.S. Nationals, was uncertain of their future partnership.
...
I will have to talk to Rohene and see where he wants to go next season.
...
Rohene Ward: Navy long-sleeved with mesh top, with silver sequins.Age 22 from Minneapolis.4toe, fall.3axel, cheers.Camel(8)-back camel to donut (12 total).Footwork with lots of turns and 2 illusions, knee slide.Klimkin-like, squatting spread eagle bending backwards.3lutz, cheers.
...
Rohene Ward (Oblivion) - He is in a black sequined v-cut outfit.A very warm welcome to the ice, fall 4toe, 1ax/bailed 2toe, interesting flying sit, fall 3flp, 2toe 2ft, beautiful position on camel to CF position, 1ltz bailed, 2ax, 3sal/2toe, beautiful change edge forward spiral, Charlotte spiral, 2lp bailed, layback with low free foot position, awesome speed to start straightline steps (fall around center ice), spin combo.He completely unraveled.If he would even skate to half of his potential some day, he would truly do some damage. (34.08+57.44=88.52, 154.63) Short Program Report - Final Flight:
Rohene Ward (The Messiah Will Come Again) - Navy blue long sleeve with black pants.It is apparent that Rohene has a lot of support from his fellow skaters - loud welcome to the ice.Fall 4toe, 3ax huge, camel has excellent speed -> raised donut position, straightline steps with good difficulty, cantilever -> solid 3ltz, flying sit, circular steps (great Russian split and a split down to the ice later on), totally fab combo spin.That completely sizzled, it's great to see Rohene back at Nationals and if he gets the quad in the free skate, watch out. (33.50+33.21=66.11) Senior Men's Practice - Short Program
In the second group, Rohene Ward was popping many of his jumps, but he did manage a few 3ax/2toe combinations, and possibly a quad (I was looking down but I think that is what it was ... ). He is doing an AMAZING cantilever and has a split down to the ice during his circular steps.I wish he could just get his jumps together. Sport Illustrated Article - January 12, 2006
Minneapolis' Ward brings unique presence to the ice
...
"Rohene is truly a unique talent, one of the best male skaters I've seen in a long time.
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