1984 Olympian hired to direct skating program in Wooster

WOOSTER, Ohio - Okay figure skating diehards—some Olympic trivia for you:

Everyone remembers that Scott Hamilton won the 1984 Olympics. Most can probably tell you that Brian Boitano went that year too, placing fifth. But who was the third man who represented the U.S. at the Sarajevo games?

The answer is Mark Cockerell. Cockerell placed third in the U.S. Nationals in 1984 and went on to a respectable 13th place finish in the Olympics. (You can watch his 1984 Olympic long program here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9WRg-bDFko ).

Now Cockerell is bringing his world figure skating experience to Northeast Ohio as he was recently named Skating Director at the Alice Noble Ice Arena in Wooster.

Among his accomplishments as a skater in 1984, Cockerell also competed on the U.S. World Team from 1983-1985. He also earned two bronze medals and a silver medal at the senior level at U.S. Nationals and was a Junior World Champion.

Cockerell is credited as the first skater in the world to do a triple/triple combination in the Olympics and was also one of the first skaters to begin attempting the quadruple toe loop in competition. During his professional career, he participated in 4 World Figure Skating Tours, was principal skater for Disney On Ice, principal skater for Dorothy Hamill's Ice Capades, and toured with Scott Hamilton's Stars on Ice.

Beginning March 6, Cockerell will begin overseeing programs at the Alice Noble Ice Arena designed to motivate and inspire figure skaters of all levels. Along with managing the rink's Learn to Skate Program, he will manage clinics and special opportunities for more advanced skaters.

This summer, the Alice Noble Ice Arena plans to offer innovative skating camps and on and off-ice training programs with Cockerell, which will be available to both local skaters and those from the surrounding area and region.

As a skating professional, Cockerell served with the Professional Skaters Association as an examiner and was coach's chair for 3 years with U.S. Figure Skating. Before coming to Wooster, Cockerell spent 8 years as the skating director of the Quad City Sports Center in Davenport, Iowa.

In addition to his duties as Skating Director at Alice Noble Ice Arena, he will also be joining the coaching staff of The Wooster Figure Skating Club.

"We are proud to bring such an accomplished and renowned skater and coach to Wooster, and are excited to watch the enthusiasm and growth his presence and leadership will bring --not only to our young skaters, but to the community as well," said a spokesperson for the Wooster Figure Skating Club.

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