Special Olympians skate with ‘Toy Story’ skaters

EVERETT — Special Olympians Kristie Clark and Vicken Ouyarian skated at Comcast Arena on Friday afternoon with Woody, Buzz Lightyear and Jessie from the “Disney On Ice Toy Story 3” show.

They and eight other Special Olympians and their families received front row seats at a special performance by the show’s cast members.

Clark, 38, of Everett, and Mukilteo resident Ouyarian, 50, eagerly laced up their skates to hit the ice with the professional skaters.

Ouyarian had one word to describe skating with the “Disney On Ice” stars.

“Excellent,” he said.

Both Clark and Ouyarian, who have minor learning disabilities, compete in figure skating in the Special Olympics. Clark is the daughter of longtime Special Olympics ice skating coach Elaine Nave of Everett.

Clark and Ouyarian participated in the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Boise, Idaho, and were happy to show the “Disney On Ice” cast some of their signature moves.

Clark smiled as she twirled around and then skated on one leg. She threw her arms up in the air.

The other athletes and “Disney On Ice” cast members clapped.

Ouyarian performed a few of his favorite jumps and held hands and skated around the rink with Kristine Gardner, who is in her eighth year with “Disney On Ice.”

The skaters formed a line and made their way around the arena to “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” a song from the “Toy Story” movies. Gardner, who plays Barbie in the show, led instruction of the “Hoedown, Throwdown,” a dance that is part of the ice production. The “Disney On Ice Presents Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 3” show opened Thursday night at Comcast Arena and runs through Sunday.

The athletes all enjoyed guest appearances by cowboy character Woody, played by Adam Loosley, Cole Davis as space ranger Buzz Lightyear and Kathryn Cotton as the cowgirl, Jessie.

Nave said the Special Olympics athletes enjoy being together.

“The whole thing is to get our athletes out in the public and let people see them because a lot of people who aren’t part of Special Olympics don’t realize how athletic they are,” she said. “We have a lot who are fantastic athletes.”

Special Olympics athletes Heather and Dean Sutton, of Everett, who were celebrating their 22nd wedding anniversary Friday, applauded the skaters and had their picture taken with the characters. They plan to see the show with their niece Saturday night.

The couple over the years has watched several other “Disney on Ice” productions at the arena. The sneak-peek made them even more excited to see the latest show, said Dean, 58.

“See you tomorrow night,” he told cast members.

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; adaybert@heraldnet.com.

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