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A gliding star

Madison Maidment | Thursday, February 23, 2012

Impossible means nothing to young Krista Kellner, who is a perfect example of an individual who has persevered through both physically and mentally limiting obstacles and has inspired athletes of all abilities from all over the world. Krista’s genuine passion for ice-skating acts as a driving force to prevent her from being defined or limited by her disability.

Krista is a figure skater who was born with autism, yet embraced the opportunity to learn to skate through a program called Gliding Stars when she was just 3 years old. When Krista began skating she was nonverbal, and her fine motor skills, balance and tactile senses were below average.

At first she was intimidated by this new activity, and she was not particularly thrilled about the loud arenas, the large crowds, or the tricky ice skates. However, with the support of her coach, Elizabeth O’Donnell, Krista has built up the confidence as a skater to perform in front of over 2,000 fans and has even had a performance broadcast on TV.

Krista has achieved national recognition for her skating and was given a solo performance in “Musselman’s Applesauce Presents the Music of Seal on Ice,” which starred singer and songwriter Seal performing live along with a cast that consisted of Olympic gold medalists Kristi Yamaguchi and Brian Boitano and many other world and national champion skaters. The show was broadcast on NBC in 2009.

Krista has been able to take the skills and discipline that she has learned through skating and apply them to other areas of her life. In high school, she was in advanced Spanish, held an A- average in most of her classes, and won hardest working senior in her class. She also maintained honor roll status since the fifth grade, was inducted into the National Honor Society, and won an award for one of her short stories published by Canisius College.

This weekend Krista and her coach will travel from Amherst, N.Y., to put on a special ice performance for the students and members of the local community. The event will take place on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m., at the Compton Family Ice Arena. It will be hosted by speaker Charlie Adams and will also include performances by the Notre Dame Figure Skaters and Notre Dame hockey goalie Joe Rogers. The night will conclude with a quick game of Sled Hockey.

With joined efforts from students involved in Best Buddies, SuperSibs, Special Olympics, Inspire and LOGAN Rec. we have planned a very special evening that will allow people to recognize and be inspired by the great accomplishments and talent of those who have not let having a disability prevent them from pursuing their dreams.

Madison Maidment


McCandless Hall

Feb. 23