U.S. Figure Skating announced the recipients of the 2020 Athlete Alumni Ambassador (3A) award. The 3A award is a scholarship program that recognizes skaters who have achieved figure skating excellence while actively volunteering.
To earn a 3A award, skaters must have qualified for the 2020 Toyota U.S. Figure Skating Championships, 2020 National High Performance Development Team Camp or the 2020 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships at the novice or junior level. Candidates were asked to submit an application detailing their volunteer work. The Athletes Advisory Committee (AAC) selects one overall winner and one winner from each discipline (ladies, men's, pairs, ice dance and synchronized). The overall winner receives $2,000, while each of the remaining five honorees receive $500, which can be used at the skaters' discretion.
The 2020 3A award recipients are listed below.
Samuel Mindra, Portland ISC (overall) — The Portland, Oregon, native began skating when he was 4 years old. Samuel Mindra began volunteering to teach learn to skate lessons as soon as he was old enough to assist. He also actively volunteers with his club, helping at competitions and working with local media to promote figure skating in his community. As a member of Team USA, Mindra recognizes his responsibility as a role model and hopes to join his club’s junior board and begin coaching the upcoming generation of skaters.
Maryn Pierce, Broadmoor SC (ladies) — The Colorado-based skater is a member of the National Honor Society at her high school and enjoys participating in community service. Recognizing how harsh Colorado winters can be, Maryn Pierce organized a skating event where participants donated coats for a skating lesson with local instructors. The event received more than 150 coats and winter items, which Pierce donated to a local shelter. Next year, she hopes to double the amount of donations.
Samir Mallya, Los Angeles FSC (men's) — Junior-level skater Samir Mallya has been volunteering at his club’s competitions for years and now helps manage and train new volunteers. Mallya enjoys being a role model for younger skaters and students. When he’s not on the ice, he’s teaching fifth graders advanced math and intends to continue running the program while attending UCLA next year to study mechanical engineering. Mallya also had the opportunity to assistant coach the junior team of the Los Angeles Ice Theater. He also hopes to train to become a judge in the future.
Cate Fleming, SC of Boston (pairs) — Pairs skater Cate Fleming enjoys skating with special needs skaters and participating in benefit shows with her partner, Jedidiah Isbell, in the Boston area. Fleming is also very involved in helping skaters stay healthy and injury-free. Fleming and Isbell are the 2020 U.S. junior pairs pewter medalists and placed sixth at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Cordelia Pride, Philadelphia SC and HS (ice dance) — Cordelia “Cordy” Pride is a four-time U.S. Championships competitor in ice dance. Recognizing the importance of being a role model to younger skaters dreaming of national-level competition, Pride aims to make all skaters feel welcome on and off the ice. She keeps an enthusiastic attitude while volunteering as a junior club supervisor and skating with Basic Skills students. Pride also helps choreograph show programs, teaches learn to skate lessons three days a week and volunteers as a coach for Special Olympics.
Gia Swanson, Glenwood FSC (synchronized) — Teams Elite Junior member Gia Swanson planned a skating event in 2019 titled “Skate for Cystic Fibrosis” to raise money for the CF Foundation. The event featured skaters from all disciplines to bring the community together. Swanson also invited school peers, teachers and local businesses to attend the event and donate gift baskets. The event raised more than $4,000 for the CF Foundation, and Swanson hopes to hold the event again in the future (the 2020 event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic).