U.S. Figure Skating is proud to announce this year’s recipients of the Mabel Fairbanks Skatingly Yours Awards. These are scholarships that are given to figure skating athletes who demonstrate and emphasize the attributes of good sportsmanship, commitment, perseverance and determination in striving to be their very best in the sport.
The Mabel Fairbanks Skatingly Yours Fund financially assists and supports the training and development of promising Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) figure skaters with the goal of helping them realize and achieve their maximum athletic potential.
Below are this year’s award recipients: Name (Hometown/Home Club)
Elite Award - $20,000
- Alexa Gasparotto (Glenview, Ill./Arctic Edge FSC)
Promising Award - $10,000
- Jessica Jurka (Perrysburg, Ohio/Fort Wayne ISC)
Developmental Award - $5,000
- Cyrus McSwain (Oakland, Calif./St. Moritz FSC)
*NEW* Notable Award - $2,000
- Ria Basu (Arlington Heights, Ill./DuPage FSC)
- Nathan Chapple (Solon, Ohio/Winterhurst FSC)
- Athena Huang (Pasadena FSC/Pasadena FSC)
Alexa Gasparotto of the Arctic Figure Skating Club was selected to receive the Elite Award of $20,000. Gasparotto recently competed at the 2023 Toyota U.S. Figure Skating Championships. With Starr Andrews also in the women’s event, 2023 marked the first time in over 20 years that two Black women have competed in the championship women’s event. Gasparotto has always been determined to achieve excellence and is committed to being a positive role model for skaters of color.
Jessica Jurka of the Fort Wayne Ice Skating Club has been awarded the Promising Award for $10,000. This past week, Jurka finished seventh in the junior women’s division at the U.S. Championships. Jurka is an ambassador for young skaters in Ecuador where she teaches the value of working hard to achieve your goals.
Receiving the Developmental Award of $5,000 is Cyrus McSwain of the St. Moritz Figure Skating Club. As a figure skater who is considered very tall, McSwain found ways to use his height to his advantage and continues to improve every season. He truly personifies the idea that skating is for everyone.
This year, the fund introduced a new Notable Award for $2,000 to be given to three athletes. The first athlete receiving the award is Ria Basu of the DuPage Figure Skating Club. As an Indian American, she is committed to building better visibility for the Indian culture within figure skating. Joining her is Diversity Ice ambassador, Nathan Chapple of Winterhurst FSC. As an ambassador, he advocates for diversity, equity and inclusion and works to break barriers and increase minority representation in figure skating. Rounding out the list of recipients is Athena Huang of the Pasadena Figure Skating Club. Huang was named to the U.S. Figure Skating International Selection Pool and has continuously progressed each season she competes while trying to be a positive influence for BIPOC skaters.
Inspired by U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame member Mabel Fairbanks, the Mabel Fairbanks Skatingly Yours Fund’s ability to award annual scholarships was made possible by U.S. Figure Skating and a generous lead gift by the Lisa McGraw Figure Skating Foundation.
Fairbanks was an African American figure skater, coach and trailblazer in the sport of figure skating for other people of color. For more information on Fairbanks and the Mabel Fairbanks Skatingly Yours Fund, click here.