ODESSA, TX (KWES) - An Odessa native, who reached elite levels of figure skating and hockey, is back in the Basin and teaching skating lessons. Jonathan Voyles can be found at MCM Ice, the rink where his successful run with these winter sports all started.
"I think I was about 5 when the rink first opened. Came just for fun and then it turned into a career of figure skating for a while," said Voyles.
Fast forward about ten years from his first time on the ice and Jonathan Voyles had qualified for the USA Figure Skating Championships. He went on to compete at nationals for two years in a row.
Almost ten years after performing on the biggest stage for figure skating, he's back to where it all began, MCM Ice, but this time he's teaching his techniques to the future of the sport.
"To be able to come back and to continue to pass on what I dedicated my life to is pretty awesome. You know I spent countless hours at this very rink training from morning until afternoon. To be able to come back and now see the kids that are willing to put that same sort of effort in, that's the best part," said Voyles.
He actually offers two different kinds of lessons. After his figure skating days, he transitioned into hockey, playing four years in a junior league, even lacing up as an Odessa Jackalope.
"My first pair of skates were actually hockey skates so I think there was always a little tie-in there, kinda dabbled with it. I mean it was training every day, 5 days a week for figure skating. But after that second nationals, I called it quits and transitioned into hockey full time," said Voyles.
So now, he switches up his skates by the hour and although he's called coach, he's happy because his time on the ice isn't up quite yet.
"You know you end up missing a lot of that being on the ice and tying up skates every day, so you take a break and then I'm very blessed to be able to come back and still skate every day," said Voyles.