U.S. Figure Skating invites people from around the United States to participate in the seventh annual National Get Up® Day tomorrow on Feb. 1, 2023.
Celebrating those who embody the Get Up® spirit, people are encouraged to share their own personal Get Up® story, the inspiring story of a friend or loved one, or the story of an organization that is doing inspiring Get Up® work in their community on social media by using #WeGetUp. Everyone, not just figure skaters, is encouraged to share stories, photos and videos of individuals who show perseverance, strength, determination and on and off the ice.
Get Up® Day celebrates the first lesson taught in skating: how to fall down, and more importantly, how to get back up. This mindset is at the core of U.S. Figure Skating’s We Get Up campaign, which was launched in 2016. In 2017, Feb. 1 was recognized as the official National Get Up® Day by the registrar at National Day Calendar, and it has been celebrated annually ever since.
Each year, U.S. Figure Skating selects a group of Get Up® ambassadors who were chosen based on nominations by the members, their families, friends and peers. This year, eight Get Up® Ambassadors were selected from a list of over 100 Get Up® champions who were nominated by the members themselves, family, friends and peers.
Several of this year’s ambassadors used skating as a way to influence positive social change or to help their community. Olivia Alexander became a voice for Black skaters and those who experience bullying by sharing her own experiences of being made fun of in the sport growing up.
Stephanie Kazior worked countless hours to not only save the Great Falls Figure Skating Club of Montana which was on the brink of closure but to put the skating club back on the map.
After growing up in an abusive home, Blake McGee fell in love with skating at 17 years old and on top of being an excellent student, is now a Learn to Skate instructor and positive role model for young skaters at Gateway Ice in Fresno, California.
Others used skating as motivation and as part of their physical and mental rehabilitation after receiving difficult medical diagnoses. Kristen McCutcheon severed multiple arteries in her neck resulting in a stroke but eventually returned to work as a Learn to Skate coordinator after months of grueling physical and cognitive therapy. Caroline Parks got back on the ice and passed her senior moves test after being diagnosed with Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and undergoing several hip surgeries. Anya Ramrakhiani found strength through skating to seek help for an eating disorder. Cole Rohner, who was born with Cerebral Palsy and autism, finds excitement and joy in entertaining audiences with his programs and was even part of the first-ever adaptive duet.
Finally, Victoria Phillippi, who was a skater growing up, made the decision to serve in the United States Army. Years later she decided to return to the ice to compete again, and despite enduring PTSD and shoulder injuries caused by her time in the military, she continues to practice and work hard every day to become a better skater.
Visit WeGetUp.com to read each ambassador’s full story.
For more information on National Get Up Day, visit WeGetUp.com.