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January 9, 2013

Fake ice makes for real fun at Oklahoma State University

STILLWATER, Okla. — From children to teenagers and college students to older adults, there was someone from every age group taking part in Tuesday’s opening of the ice rink outside Oklahoma State University’s Student Union.

Kristen Hadley brought her two children to the rink, which measured approximately 30 feet by 50 feet.

“My daughter loves ice skating, so any opportunity at all around here to skate we’ll do it,” she said.

Her son, Garrett, had also skated previously at the ice rink in downtown Stillwater for two years.

However, it took a while for Garrett to get used to the artificial ice surface.

“It’s not that grippy,” he said. “You can’t really push yourself on it like you can on ice.”

While he almost fell, he said he was doing well so far.

“I just like going around,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

12-year-old Samantha Williamson also was getting used to being back on a pair of ice skates. She hadn’t had the opportunity since she was much younger.

“No, we went when I was 6 and I chickened out,” she said. “We were really cold and we left our gloves and scarves at home and I just got really scared and just watched.”

But six years later, Williamson was prepared and ready.

“I’ve been roller blading before and got used to that,” she said. “It’s kind of scary because I’m afraid I’m going to fall but that’s how it was with roller blading.”

Williamson said it was likely she would return to skate again and practice.

“I think once I do get used to it, I’ll probably like it,” she said.

As for Kristen Hadley, she said she would like to see the rink or any new activity return.

“We really need more children’s activities in Stillwater besides sports,” she said. “If it’s not sports-related, it’s not in Stillwater, it seems like. There’s no regular skating rink. We’re pretty limited to bowling.”

She said anything different and fun would draw her and her family back.

“I think the fact that it’s campus, but they’ve opened it up to the public is really great,” she said. “The more activities and events that they can do for families, the better for us.”

The skating rink at the OSU Student Union will be open from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Admission and skate rental are free.

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