Local skater grabs the gold

Oak Harbor’s Kristine Martinez, 11, won her first United States Figure Skating Association gold medal at the Victoria Day Interclub Competition held on May 16 at the South Surrey Arena in Surrey, British Columbia.

For Martinez, who skates out of the Sportsplex Arena in Bellingham, it was her first event outside of the United States and her first competition under U.S.F.S.A. rules. The U.S.F..S.A. is the organization that runs figure skating in the U.S. and develops skaters who go on to compete in such events as the Olympics and the World Figure Skating Championships.

She has been skating for almost four years and won 17 medal and four trophies in I.S.I (Ice Skating Institute) competitions. Under the guidance of coach Tina Mauler, Martinez has received 16 gold medals for first place in the 21 events that she competed in under I.S.I..

Martinez, who will turn 12 in August, travels to Bellingham at least three times a week for practice at the Sportsplex Arena. Her next big event will be the Pacific Northwest Interclub Skating Championships to be held at the Tri-Cities Coliseum in Kennewick August 2-4.

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