LAKE?PLACID - From the Skating Club of Boston, national and international competitor Stephen Carriere lit up the 1932 rink as the featured guest skater for the Saturday Night Ice Show on July 21.
Carriere started skating during a time when figure skating captivated the public's imagination and Nancy Kerrigan was a local hero in his town.
"When I was 5, Nancy Kerrigan was a local skater," Carriere said. "She was going to the Olympics, and so my older sister started skating. I had to go to the rink with my mom because my sister was skating that was kind of a cliche start for a male skater."
Photo by Christie Sausa
Stephen Carriere poses for a picture in the Olympic Center during his recent visit to the Saturday Nigh Ice Show.
Carriere also cites the therapeutic effects of skating as a motivation to start participating in the sport.
"When I was younger, I had a lot of ear infections, so the pediatrician recommended I participate in a sport that tests balance," he said.
After trying hockey, Carriere realized he would rather figure skate, and the rest is history. He became the 2007 World Junior champion, the 2006-2007 Junior Grand Prix Final champion and the 2008 bronze medalist at the national championships. In 2010 and 2011, he did not compete at the National Championships due to an ankle infection and recurring tendonitis. This past year, he competed frequently.
"I competed at a couple of Senior Nationals," Carriere said. "I was third at Nebelhorn, first at the Ice Challenge in Austria and sixth place at Nationals. So not a bad year."
Carriere also plans to compete this coming season.
"The biggest goal is to improve upon last season," he said. "Last season I was doing my Senior Internationals, not doing Grand Prixs like I was doing three or four years ago. So the goal is to do well at those Internationals and rise above sixth place at Nationals."
Off the ice, Carriere attends Boston College and balances his courses with his skating activities.
"This past semester, I was able to do three courses per semester along with skating and coaching," Carriere said. "I think that's what I'm going to do in the fall also."
Other than school and skating, another interest is photography.
"I'm very interested in fashion photography, editorial portraiture, so whenever I have free time I'm always asking skaters I train with if they have time to do photo shoots," Carriere said. "Like a skater, with a photographer, you're only better if you keep going, keep shooting and keep the camera moving."
Like most athletes, Carriere is also looking forward to the 2012 Summer Olympics.
"I'm definitely looking forward to watching the men's and ladies gymnastics," he said. "Aly Raisman is from Boston, so it will be exciting to see her competing at the Olympics. Even though it's a completely opposite Olympic Games (summer), it's still the same inspiration; it helps training go by a little easier."
While proud of his accomplishments, Carriere is most focused not on results, but on his training.
"It's difficult for me to pinpoint certain events as a highlight; I think the fact that I just keep goingI think that kind of achievement, day-to-day grind, staying in the game, is the biggest accomplishment," he said. "Especially coming back from several seasons with injuries."
In Lake Placid only a few weeks ago for the Lake Placid Figure Skating Championships, Carriere had nothing but praise for the Olympic Village.
"Lake Placid has that aura about it; you come here and you instantly feel energized," Carriere said. "Coming here from a city, you can feel energized yet calm and refreshed, so Lake Placid is a great retreat. Coming here is like a working vacation."