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Klamath Falls becomes temporary home for Oregon figure skater

When the shutdowns in Oregon closed ice rinks around the state, a Portland-area figure skater needed a place to train and the Bill Collier Community Ice Arena was the perfect place.

Posted: Jan 8, 2021 10:34 PM
Updated: Jan 9, 2021 7:15 PM

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — The pandemic brought with it swift shutdowns of every indoor venue imaginable. Restaurants, bowling alleys, public buildings and gyms (among a multitude of others). It also closed down ice rinks.

The latter is very important for an Oregon figure skater training to make the US Olympic Team. Happy Valley's Samuel Mindra was that figure skater.

He bounced around from ice rinks in Colorado Springs, Idaho and Washington while Oregon rinks remained closed. Then the rink in Washington closed in late November, just over a month before qualifications for the US Figure Skating National Championships. He needed a place to skate and soon.

Then Mindra remembered a competition at an outdoor venue in Oregon. For just over the last five weeks, Mindra as been training every day at the Bill Collier Ice Arena in Klamath Falls.

Already on Team USA, Mindra needed to keep improving to stay in the top group to remain on the skating squad.

"I don't want to get knocked off of Team USA," Mindra said. "That was like my main goal for keep on training so I could still be on the team."

He was able to train for more hours on the ice in Klamath Falls than he normally would in Portland and he was only a few steps away from his hotel.

All of the training paid off as his digitally submitted routine earned him the third-highest score out of 33 competitors in his division. Now Mindra is headed to Las Vegas for the National Championships.

"I feel like I could still get more improvements in my program, but I feel pretty ready," Mindra said. "It was pretty nice and Klamath Falls, there was some altitude and it helped me with my breathing."

Training to get to the national championship during a pandemic was like figure skating. A challenging balancing act where sometimes things don't go to plan. And when you fall, you get back up and carry on.

"There are good days and bad days," Mindra said. "All the improvements that you make, it makes you want to keep going and make more improvements and get better as a skater. And so I guess that's, what's pushing me to get better."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 570892

Reported Deaths: 5936
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah94163940
Washington68918461
Marion55435570
Clackamas49836458
Lane44086397
Deschutes37530225
Jackson34484417
Linn20528221
Umatilla19500190
Douglas16386323
Yamhill13914168
Josephine13233291
Polk11966115
Benton1128646
Klamath11286179
Coos8563128
Malheur697096
Columbia599667
Jefferson587971
Lincoln530462
Crook467262
Union415665
Wasco392050
Clatsop369737
Tillamook293554
Hood River286638
Baker274440
Curry260141
Morrow256926
Grant137418
Harney130535
Lake116823
Wallowa99213
Sherman2333
Gilliam2254
Wheeler1722
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 7691930

Reported Deaths: 78616
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles249409728480
San Diego6675684559
Riverside5351265623
San Bernardino5138486267
Orange5098915953
Santa Clara2579941993
Sacramento2477782623
Alameda2149391575
Fresno2010802429
Kern1961251974
Contra Costa1628091091
Ventura1556551256
San Joaquin1467261960
Stanislaus1156521517
San Francisco109859702
Tulare1071131211
San Mateo101729647
Santa Barbara72722589
Monterey70370651
Sonoma70038432
Solano67327391
Placer58374513
Merced57147727
Imperial52057820
San Luis Obispo45057385
Kings43195396
Santa Cruz35593237
Madera33030336
Butte32484350
Yolo32382273
Shasta30590512
Marin30486253
El Dorado24845179
Napa20803111
Sutter18472199
Humboldt15471129
Yuba14050103
Nevada13685112
Tehama12228142
Mendocino11943111
San Benito1115391
Tuolumne997991
Lassen899459
Lake8639118
Amador706473
Unassigned63543
Calaveras600695
Siskiyou580162
Glenn547039
Del Norte436843
Inyo388050
Colusa384021
Mono28264
Plumas244912
Mariposa234519
Trinity116719
Modoc8626
Sierra2760
Alpine1190
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