Kathy Slack of Troy had more than a front row seat for figure skating events during the recently completed Olympic games in Sochi, Russia

Slack served as the Olympic team manager for U.S. figure skating singles and pairs. She comes from a skating family, has been a member of the Troy Skating Club since 1954, is a national judge and is active with the U.S. Figure Skating organization.

Slack learned three years ago she’d be in the team manager role. Since May 2011, she was to be involved in many events as team leader/assistant team leader, positions that helped her to get to know current skaters on the Senior Grand Prix and Junior Grand Prix circuit.

The trip to Sochi was Slack’s first Olympics.

“My most satisfying moment, of course, was the gold medal dance performances of  Meryl Davis and Charlie White as well as the new team event where the U.S. won the bronze medal,” Slack said. “My most disappointing moment - really can't think of a disappointing moment - but saddest moment was seeing the flame extinguished and our team heading home.”

Before athletes, coaches and spectators headed to the games, a main topic was security for the international event.

“I will have to say, I never felt so safe as I did in Sochi,” Slack said. “We were in a bubble inside the village and park and security was high priority for the Russian Federation.  I have only positives to say about the security.”

Among those seen frequently on TV during the games was Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Slack shook hands with the president three times during the games.

The skating team was comprised of 15 skaters such as Meryl Davis, Charlie White and Gracie Gold. A second team manager was involved with the dance skaters. A team leader dealt with administrative and other team functions.

Slack arrived in Sochi on Jan. 30 and returned home last week.

The team set up a home away from home in dorm space at the Olympic village. As team manager, Slack lived with the team.

Team members’ rooms were decorated with items their parents sent from home. The team and coaches shared a common area with flat screen TV, video games, snacks, games, etc.

Slack had been to Sochi twice before this year’s journey. She attended the Grand Prix Final of Figure Skating there in December 2012 when the Iceberg skating venue was tested during that event.

“It is a magnificent arena with everything that was needed,” she said. “The ice surface was great and also housed the short track speed skating events, which took 2 to 2-1/2 hours to change the ice temperatures between events.”

Slack has served as Troy Skating Club president and skated under the first Skating Club coach Nino Minelli from Switzerland. Her sister is a judge in Montana and her daughter a national judge and national referee. Slack is a national judge, national referee and has served on the U.S. Figure Skating board of directors, judges education chair, judges chair, membership development coordinator and four years as Midwest vice president. She now serves as the group’s nominating chair.

Serving as a team manager at the Olympics is a one-time experience, Slack said. “I was so fortunate to have had this opportunity,” she said. “What a wonderful team we had, and know that U.S. Figure Skating has a bright future with those that will form the team in 2018.”


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{slide name="kathy-web-1"}Kathy at the Kiss & Cry{/slide}
{slide name="kathy-web-2"}Kathy atop Rosa Khutor{/slide}
{slide name="kathy-web-2"}Team USA Figure Skating Team (Kathy 2nd from right){/slide}