"The only thing that I loved as much as skating were clothes." (People, 1991). We all know Vera Wang as one of America's most accomplished fashion designers. But most would be surprised to learn that her early career goals had more to do with ice than fabric. An aspiring figure skater, she had hopes of winning Olympic gold, spending countless hours training and traveling to competitions. By 1968, she competed in the national championships with the hopes of making the U.S. Olympic team (junior pairs, along with her partner James Stuart). It was upon not making it that she decided to pursue a career in the fashion industry, where her designing talents catapulted her to success. As a designer, she maintained her connection to figure skating, designing dresses and costumes for legendary competitors such as Michelle Kwan, Nancy Kerrigan, Sasha Cohen, and Evan Lysacek. In 2009, she was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame, and was acknowledged for her accomplishments both on and off the ice. She has proved that becoming a figure skater may not always lead to the Olympics, but it fosters character, competitive drive and work ethic. Those qualities comprise the heart of a champion, whether wearing skating boots or high heels. Check out the slideshow below of Vera Wang and some of her most famous skating creations!
It sounds crazy, but it's true! A midsummer night's soak pales in comparison to the experience of being in a hot tub in the midst of a winter's snow. Surrounded by warm, soothing water while snowflakes fall around you; the stars shimmering brightly in the crisp night air. An truly mesmerizing and unparalleled experience. And, believe it or not, it's a healthy one as well! Using a hot tub during the cold months promotes healing, and improves circulation, and provides relaxation. Not convinced? Check out the facts below:
Winter is finally beginning to settle in, which means backyard ice rink season is upon us! Here are some fun skating party ideas to get your wheels turning. Don't forget - a backyard rink by Modern Pools means all you'll have to do is add ice, and put some of these ideas to good use! We'll build the rink, so you can spend your time planning and enjoying fun and memorable skating parties with family and friends!
We all know that hockey is a revered sport here in Rhode Island. To us, it's more than just a sport - it's a treasured thread in the fabric of our lives. All of us have either played it, know someone who has, or watched it; we've all experienced the unique excitement and camaraderie that the game of hockey provides. But our bond with hockey is not simply a product of living in a cold weather climate. It is part of our history, what helped shape who we are today. In RI, we have a special connection to hockey, and it all began with Brother Adelard Beaudet. This unassuming Brother of the Sacred Heart would spark not only a love for hockey in RI, but also a program with continuously enduring success; earning nationwide acclaim and becoming a breeding ground for NHL All-Stars.
The year was 1911. Brother Adelard received his orders and traveled from Canada to Rhode Island to teach at the Sacred Heart Academy. As he began teaching, his zeal for God became apparent. So did his passion for hockey. "Right away I started it," he stated in a 1985 article by Sports Illustrated entitled, A New England High School Has All The Right Stuff For Hockey Legends. "They didn't have any sticks. We had to go to the wood and get some branches and flatten them. Then we went to a pond near the city. We used rocks on the ice for goals and school books for shin pads. We played one hour without time-outs or penalties, and we had no zones." Thirteen years later, he continued the same practices at Mount Saint Charles Academy, and the boys became his dedicated students. By the 1930's, his training produced 10 State Championships and 2 National Championships. Though the branches and books were soon replaced by traditional hockey equipment, the legend of hockey in RI was firmly secured.
By the 1960's, the Brothers decided to make hockey a permanent fixture at the high school. They purchased an airplane hangar from the U.S. Navy - one that had been used during WWII - and turned it into a rink. Nestled below the school's perch on the hill, it has nurtured both hockey talent and pride ever since. There, another legend, Bill Belisle, would go on to carry that tradition into a new generation, and take it to new heights. His coaching produced 26 consecutive State Championships (from 1978 to 2003), and numerous NHL players (including Brian Lawton, Bryan Berard, Brian Boucher, Jeff Jillson and Paul Guay). The team's storied success continues to endure. The story of that portion of the legend will be told in a future blog post! The point is, the extraordinary achievements would not have been possible without Brother Adelard's determination, perseverance, and love for God and hockey. That foundation is what makes Mount hockey (and academics) so special. It also underpins Rhode Islanders' love for and connection to the game. For us, it's not just a game, it's part of life. It's not about the amount of wins or goals scored; it's about experiencing and sharing the enjoyment of the game. Whether playing it, or gathering at the rink to cheer for (and with) friends or family members, we all know what it's like to spend hours in a cold rink, yet still feel warmth. The indescribable warmth of community, togetherness - and the occasional team rivalry - that began one frigid day in 1911, when a determined Brother of the Sacred Heart turned branches into hockey sticks.
Happy New Year from all of us at Modern Pools! Now that the holiday rush is over, we are finally able to unwind. Many of us hearty New Englanders start thinking, "now what?" The gifts have been unwrapped, the countdown is complete, yet the winter has just begun. Here in Rhode Island, preparing for winter requires many things: bread; milk; shovels; salt; hats and mittens; and so on. But what about fun? We all know nothing beats an afternoon of sledding, but let's face it: sliding around on a toboggan can get a little tiring after awhile, especially if the snow seeps in under your boots or gloves! And what if there isn't any snow to begin with? There are only so many activities that can be done indoors, and binge-watching shows and playing video games isn't really something that should be done on a regular basis. Winter activities like skiing and snowboarding are fun, but they can be expensive, and usually require travelling to participate. Skating is a much-loved New England pastime, but finding rinks offering public skating can be difficult, and other forms of ice time are expensive as well. But here's good news: we can create an ice rink right in your own backyard!
Imagine spending these next few months actually enjoying the winter-without having to leave your house! Whether you or your kids are trying to perfect skating skills, or are just looking for a unique activity that the whole family can enjoy, a backyard ice rink is the answer! Host pickup hockey games, skating parties, teach your kids how to skate, the possibilities are endless. And we make the process seamless by building the rink for you. All you have to do is add water; the rink is then a blank canvas on which limitless frozen memories can be made. The best part is that the rink can be taken down in the spring, and re-installed in the winter, to be enjoyed for many more years to come. We can guide you through the process, and help you create a rink that fits your needs and backyard. We have applied our expertise in building pools to crafting backyard rinks, and to helping you create unforgettable backyard memories not just in the summertime, but in the wintertime as well.