Krall inducted into Colorado Springs Hall of Fame

Veteran coach honored for contributions to figure skating

Christy Krall poses with current students (from left) Armin Mahbanoozadeh, Agnes Zawadzki and Angela Wang following her induction.
Christy Krall poses with current students (from left) Armin Mahbanoozadeh, Agnes Zawadzki and Angela Wang following her induction. (Courtesy of Christy Krall)


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By Lois Elfman, special to
(11/15/2012) - From little children who can barely see over the rink boards to Olympic and world competitors, Christy Krall works with a diverse range of students. She began her coaching career nearly 50 years ago, and on Oct. 30 her contributions to the sport of figure skating were celebrated with her induction into the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame.

"It's so amazing for me to be involved with all the people that have come before me," said Krall, 64, a third-generation Coloradoan. Past inductees from the sport of figure skating include the 1961 world team, Krall's former coach Edi Scholdan, Colleen O'Connor and Jim Millns, David Jenkins, Hayes Jenkins, Carlo Fassi, Peggy Fleming, Jill Trenary and the Broadmoor Skating Club.

The induction ceremony was held at the World Arena with 640 people in attendance. At the start of the evening, each of the inductees was introduced. Videos were presented highlighting their lives and careers.

"I was just delighted to be surrounded by many good friends," Krall said. "All of the inductees had a very nice celebration of what their accomplishments had been.

"It was a gorgeous evening," she added. "There were orchids on the tables. It was a lovely, very glamorous occasion."

Speaking on behalf of Krall was lifelong friend Gerry Lane and several of her students, including Armin Mahbanoozadeh, Agnes Zawadzki and Angela Wang.

"Each one of my athletes spoke in the video about how my coaching had helped them," Krall said.

After competing at the 1964 Olympic Winter Games, Krall finished her competitive career with a fourth-place finish at the 1965 World Championships. At age 18, she began coaching part-time while attending Colorado College (she is also in the college's Athletic Hall of Fame) -- assisting Fassi. Following graduation, she focused on coaching. She took a break from coaching to work at U.S. Figure Skating, serving as senior director of athlete programs from 1996 to 2002.

She said the advent Dartfish (a computer video analysis program that is used to analyze figure skating jumps and spins) inspired her to return to coaching.

"I thought, 'That's why I'm going back, because that is really relevant,'" Krall said. "The challenge was [that] I didn't know how to work a computer. I call myself the poster child for anyone who thinks they can't do something different with their life. That certainly changed my whole perspective."

Krall also gave thanks to a higher power.

"I think God is good," she said. "That's probably the name of the game. He's put me in very special moments, and I've got some wonderful athletes."

In addition to several athletes for whom she is the primary coach, Krall acts as a consultant to many of the kids who train at the World Arena. From 2010 to 2012 she was the primary coach of Canadian and world men's champion Patrick Chan, who was her first world champion.

"That was a whole different learning curve," said Krall. "I am so thankful that Patrick was in my life because he taught me the ultimate level of figure skating. We had a wonderful time together.

"It took it to a whole new space and time in terms of how you deal with an elite athlete," she added. "How you surround the right people for an elite athlete. What you learn from all that expertise around an elite athlete."

Krall said she also learns every day from her colleagues at the World Arena. She said the rink has a culture of excellence.

"That's what's so exciting about being a coach here. It's a never-ending learning process," she said. "That's the great part of being here, the connective tissue and the threads that run through all of the aspects of training high-performance athletes.

"I really do have fun," she concluded. "I think that's probably the ingredient that keeps you going. Every day is a new moment of humor and a new challenge that we can all climb to be a part of sport."