The top senior- and junior-level ice dance teams at the Wheaton Ice Skating Academy in Maryland are now training at Ion International Training Center in Leesburg, Virginia.
Lorraine McNamara and new partner Anton Spiridonov, Caroline Green and Michael Parsons, and Molly Cesanek and Yehor Yehorov are the senior teams that have moved to Ion ITC. Senior teams from Poland and France are also training there.
“The management is wonderful,” said Elena Novak, co-founder and one of the primary coaches with Alexei Kiliakov at Wheaton Ice Skating Academy. “[Ion] founder and owner Luiz Taifas is an Olympic, World and European figure skater. He has built Ion ITC to answer high-level athletes’ needs, while keeping in mind the needs of recreational skaters, parents and coaches.
“They take a personal approach to each athlete, from helping with ice time and scheduling, to assisting with various financial needs such as college scholarships, housing, travel, etc. Anything they can do, they are trying to do.”
The Ion ITC features two NHL-sized rinks, a ballet room, full-service gym, restaurant and pro shop. One of the rinks is encircled by stadium seating, with 3,500 seats providing people a venue to enjoy a wide variety of activities and events.
Plans are to add two more sheets of ice, including one of Olympic size that would be for figure skaters. The facility is located less than one hour from the academy’s rinks in Rockville and Wheaton.
“We are thrilled and honored that Wheaton Ice Skating Academy has chosen Ion ITC as its new home,” Taifas said. “Our philosophies are fully compatible. Like us, Alexei, Elena and Dmytri’s [Ilin] focus is solely on developing athletes physically and mentally to achieve their highest goals.
“As a young, rising facility, we have high hopes of welcoming the skating world to Ion for future competitions and events.”
Wheaton junior teams now training in Leesburg are Angela Ling and Caleb Wein, Katarina DelCamp and Ian Somerville, and Elizabeth Tkachenko and Alexei Kiliakov. There are junior international teams there as well.
The other level teams at Wheaton Ice Skating Academy are training at Ion ITC during July and August. They are scheduled to return to the Maryland-based rinks in September.