Figure Skating Represents Delaware at the Winter Youth Olympic Games
Caitlin Belt and Michael Johnson, a pair team from the University of Delaware Figure Skating Club, will be among the 57 Americans to represent the United States at the first Winter Youth Olympic Games, January 14 - 22, in Innsbruck, Austria.
Hosted by the International Olympic Committee, the Winter Youth Olympic Games will be held every four years, consistent with the Olympic Games format. The Youth Olympic games were created to “educate, engage and influence young athletes and inspire them to play an active role in their communities.” More than 1,050 athletes from over 60 countries are expected to compete in Innsbruck.
Caitlin Belt, an honor student at Unionville High School, and Michael Johnson, a senior at West Nottingham Academy, were nominated by US Figure Skating to represent the United States at the inaugural winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. They were chosen after competing at the Eastern Sectional Championships in Jamestown New York at the Junior Level..They are the 2011 US Intermediate silver medalists, and in the hopes of being named to the Youth Olympic team, the team skipped over the Novice Level to compete this season as a Junior Pair team
Belt began skating when she was 3 1/2 when her older sister, then five, needed a winter activity. She took Learn to Skate lessons until she was five, and when she started private lessons, she worked on pairs with her coach and discovered she really loved it. In 2007, Belt and her family moved to Kennett Square, Pa. so she could train at the University of Delaware full time. Belt & Johnson began skating together after Johnson moved to Delaware in 2010. Belt wants to travel through Europe some day and is already fluent in Spanish. She plans to study French next summer. Belt is an honor student, enjoys reading, baking, shopping and going to get coffee with friends. Belt plans to go to college after her skating career and pursue a career in medicine. She is extremely excited as well as honored to be representing her country for the first time!
Johnson began skating at age seven and he has been skating pairs since 2007. Johnson became interested in ice skating when he watched a friend skate in Brussels, Belgium while his dad was in the U.S. Air Force and the family was stationed overseas. Johnson moved back to the U.S. and enrolled in a Learn To Skate program. In 2010, Johnson enrolled as a boarding student at West Nottingham Academy in Colora, Md. which allowed him to train in pairs at the University of Delaware. Among his many volunteer efforts, Johnson has volunteered as a Learn to Skate helper and at numerous community, school and church activities in Yorktown, Va. as well as around the West Nottingham Academy area.
They will be joined in Innsbruck by their coach, Christopher Pottenger. Pottenger has coached numerous Team USA skaters and national medalists. He lives in Philadelphia, PA and is originally from the Dallas, TX area. He is a retired Team USA pairs skater and holds multiple national titles. He is very proud of the hard work Belt and Johnson have put in to their training and is very happy to see his skaters dreams come true.