Woodmoor woman heads up Broadmoor Skating Club's 75th anniversary celebration
Debbie Might and her twin brother, Donald, starting at age two, spent 22 years on ice skates, perfecting their craft at the old Broadmoor World Arena.
It was at the famed ice palace - the site of five World Championships - where Might met and skated with former and future Olympians, and developed lifelong relationships with some of the sport's greatest athletes.
Today, some 50 years after she laced up for the first time, Might - a longtime Woodmoor resident - is putting the final touches on the Broadmoor Skating Club's Gala 75th anniversary celebration.
“It's going to be a fun reunion,” said Might, who is chairman of the event. “We will have every decade represented from the 1940s on. We'll have people represented from 10 states, as well as Canada, Mexico and Australia.”
In January, BSC president John Lefevre brought up the idea of a grand 75th anniversary celebration and asked Might if she wouldn't mind organizing the event. Two current member of the board had already offered to be on the committee before Might even knew about it.
“I put together the rest of the committee and we've been having a lot of fun organizing this event,” Might said.
Might's committee consists of Janet Champion (a former child star of Ice Follies, a coach and board member of the BSC), Lois Nesselhauf (past manager of the old Broadmoor World Arena), John Cerny (past BSC board member), Rita Cerny (past BSC president) and Might's husband, Mark Steinberg.
The two-day event kicks off with a dinner on Aug. 10 at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort, followed by a lunch on Aug. 11 at U.S. Figure Skating Museum. As many as 200 people are expected to attend the dinner at $70 a plate.
Among those to be recognized will be former Olympic and World Champions Hayes Alan Jenkins and Peggy Fleming, and former World Champion Jill Trenary Dean. Trenary Dean makes her home in the Broadmoor area.
Many National and World Junior and World Professional champions will also be in attendance.
Also scheduled to be at the event are former ice dancers James Millns and Colleen O'Connor (bronze medalists at 1976 Olympics) and former United States Women's Champion Rachael Flatt (2010).
The master of ceremonies will be former Olympian and two-time U.S Silver medalist Christy Krall, formerly Haigler. Krall lives in Colorado Springs and is a coach.
A 1977 graduate of Cheyenne Mountain High School, Might's world revolved around ice skating and the old Broadmoor World Arena. Her late father, Jack Might, was a charter member of the club in 1938, and was its president from 1971-1984 - the longest running president in club history.
He and his partner, Patty Vaeth (Croke), along with Patty Sonnekson, were the Pikes Peak Figure Skating Club's (name changed to Broadmoor Skating Club in the late 1940s) first three competitors. Jack and Patty Vaeth were their first National medalists and World Team members. Unfortunately, Worlds was not held due to World War II, so they were unable to compete.
“I was a member of the club for 38 years,” Might said. “In fact, an immediate member of my family, all five of us at one point, had been a member of the club for 69 of its 75 years.
“It's a family thing. My dad put on all sorts of ice shows and competitions. It was pretty much a long steady history of putting on events at the rink.”
Might skated on the same ice as Olympic champion and fellow Cheyenne Mountain alum Peggy Fleming, as well as dozen's of the world's top figure skaters.
“I remember the days of the KGB coming into the rink,” Might said with a smile. “I saw them at the World Championships at the Broadmoor in 1965, 1969 and 1975.
“These intimidating men would come into the rink with their black suits, coats and hats on following the Soviet skating contingents' every move. It was the time of the Cold War and a time of defections of some of the Soviet Union's top intellectuals, sports champions and premier ballet dancers. The KGB was there to make sure everyone who came with them left with them. It was an interesting time.”
Might has long since retired from competitive skating. In fact, she is not even a member of the club anymore, but she does keep up with things since one of her Woodmoor neighbors and friend since childhood is BSC vice president David Hamula. She has also stayed close to her many skating friends from the past.
Might occasionally stops by the new World Arena to visit with friends or watch an event. But as far as she's concerned, the old facility can never be replaced.
“For any of us who skated at the old Broadmoor World Arena, we miss it terribly,” she said. “When I go to the new arena, though it's a beautiful place, it has a totally different feel.”
For more information or to register for the event go to www.broadmoorskatingclub.com. It is open to anyone who had a connection to the Broadmoor Skating Club, the Broadmoor World Arena, the new Colorado Springs World Arena or anyone with fond memories of skating at the Broadmoor.