#InFocus: Blind figure skater wows on the ice

Ardmore, Pa. (WTXF) A local blind figure skater wows on the ice with his patience and skills. FOX 29 Photojournalist Bill Rohrer shares his story.

Inside the Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society in Ardmore, 62-year-old Stash Serafin works on his routine. With the help of his skating coach Michelle Marvin—he glides around the ice rink with ease.

"I feel equality when I glide on the ice. I feel like I am adding dimensions to my awareness to my life," he told FOX 29.

Stash is a blind figure skater and mastering simple as footwork can be challenging.

"It is a visual sport. We use a lot of visual cues and examples, a lot of coping and mimicking when we are teaching skaters in the beginning, and he does have any of those cues," Marvin explained.

"It is very hard for a sighted person to understand what a blind person goes through. We have a lot of books on figure skating but there is no books on how to teach a blind person," Stash said.

His love for skating started almost 50 years ago.

Stash’s blindness doesn’t stop him from competing. He is training for the 2018 Gay Games in Paris and he is the only blind skater in his age group.

Stash also works with longtime friend and figure skating coach Tommy Kaine.

"He has to take it in small steps.  When people learn, especially kids, they just go for it," said Kaine. "They just jump off the cliff and see what happens.  Not Stash.  He has to take small steps towards that and be able to be very patient."

Patients is key for Stash’s success.

"It’s challenging, I am just getting a sense of how to go on the circle and how to go away from the circle and if I turn enough I am going to turn back to the other side of it," Stash explained.

 

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