Two skaters, one rink: a hockey player and a figure skater share big dreams on the ice | The kids who make South Africa great
Kaden Galatiuk and Cadence Floyd are looking for different paths on the ice, although their routes have similarities.
SAN ANTONIO – In the belly of the Ice & Golf Center in Northwoods, school is underway for a small group of Coast to Coast Institute students. Among the children are Kaden Galatiuk and Cadence Floyd.
“You come here, you skate. You go to school,” said coach Nick Apter. “You’re going back to skate more.”
Apter is a former world figure skating champion from Russia turned coach. He works with Galatiuk and Floyd.
“Everyone has big dreams, but big dreams come true in small steps,” he said.
Apter trains Galatiuk on the basics of skating. Better skater, better hockey player, they believe. The young hockey player, who started hockey at the age of two, can’t wait to get out of the classroom to work on his game.
“I’m waiting for ice time and I feel like years are coming,” said Galatiuk.
The 11-year-old’s mother, Tricia, is his teacher, and his father, Rob, a former hockey player, wants to position their son to be a professional athlete. It’s his dream.
Galatiuk’s day begins at 5 a.m. with an hour of practice before starting his day at school.
At 12:30 p.m., he’s back on the ice to train with Apter. This cycle continues until he gets home, where he has an ice rink in his backyard.
“I shoot a thousand pucks every day,” he said. “So I got my shot getting better and better.”
Galatiuk’s handling of the puck and shots are his strengths, he said. But Galatiuk said he was working on getting faster and more explosive.
Galatiuk caught the attention of sports networks in his garage transformed into a gymnasium by doing a hockey exercise on a balance board. The video has gone viral.
He also entered the Guinness Book of World Records for most hockey stick hits on a balance board in one minute in October 2020. His record is 284 times.
“I do jumps and spins and a bunch of programs,” Floyd said. “And, he works on a bunch of sports training.”
Floyd, who is Galatiuk’s classmate, can tap into the figure skating champion side of Apter.
“It’s more like an ice ballet – if you can compare to that,” he said.
Floyd’s aunt took her ice skate when she was five. The figure skater said she couldn’t leave the ice behind.
“So I kept asking my mom if I could come here every day,” Floyd said.
The nine-year-old enters the rink at 7:30 a.m. to practice before going to school. In the afternoon, Floyd returns to the ice with Apter working toward her goal of becoming an Olympic skater.
“My biggest achievement in this competition is winning the Nine State Championships two years in a row,” she said.
Floyd won in 2020 and 2021 as a member of the Heart of Texas Figure Skating Club in the American Figure Skating Competition of the Southern Nine States.
Apter said Floyd will continue to work to do well in Texas. Then they can start a national campaign. The young figure skater said she was ready.
“I can never do it, but I can – I can,” she said.
Athletes know that the price of being the best on the ice comes with sacrifice, discipline and determination.
“I’ve learned that I still have to work harder and keep pushing and pushing,” Galatiuk said.
Apter said the lessons come with a base that can be used on and off the ice.
“You fall. It hurts. You get up and you have to start over,” Apter said. “And you will fall back.”