The Kids on Ice program (through the Friends of Fort Dupont) has been at Fort Dupont Ice Rink in Southeast, D.C. for 20 years.
The non-profit is all about giving kids an opportunity to get on the ice and explore a new sport that could open up a whole new world.
The young athletes gathered at the rink Tuesday evening for an Olympic Watch party for Fort Dupont alum Maame Biney.
Kids and parents were celebrating Biney and this moment that is life changing.
“There aren’t too many figure skaters who look like me, so it’s really nice to see myself represented at the Olympics," said one figure skater.
“I feel like it opens up opportunities because people who might say ‘I don’t see too many people like me so I don’t feel comfortable,'” said her friend, a synchronized skater.
Biney skated at Fort Dupont’s Kids on Ice program in 2006. She was just six years old.
Now, she is competing at the highest level. She is a winner no matter what the score. Her childhood coach is Nate Mills.
“We’re incredibly proud of her and excited for what will be an amazing future as well,” he said.
Brittany Greene grew up in the program and now coaches within the program.
“We have schools that come here and they see someone that looks like them and I say 'yeah, I’m your instructor, we’re going to learn how to skate today,'” she said. “We help kids from five through 18 and we’re providing everything. The skates are provided, the lessons are provided, and ice time is provided. So we’re really taking away the financial burden that comes with ice sports so everyone has a chance to play; just giving kids a chance because they never know if they’re good at if they never tried it and once they step on the ice they fly.”
Just like Maame.