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The Dartmouth
May 21, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Friends, teammates support Shalka '05

Members of the Dartmouth community gathered last week at Rollins Chapel to show their support for Tricia Shalka '05 and her family as she recovers from injuries sustained in a hotel fire two weeks ago in Nimes, France.

At the event, attendees lit candles and listened to music from the "Cider House Rules," which Shalka uses in her long freestyle skating program. Rebecca Bruccoleri '05 also performed a piece of music on piano which she composed for Shalka to skate to.

Speakers on hand included College Chaplain Richard Crocker, who said a prayer before a circle of Shalka's friends, teammates, Dartmouth community members and figure skating coach Loren McGean.

McGean discussed the process of working with Shalka to create her program. Shalka, who also competes in compulsory moves, ice dancing and team maneuvers, brings a determined and open-minded ethic to her skating, McGean said.

"She just thrives on being pushed harder," McGean said.

Dean for the Class of 2005 Carolynne Krusi, who has not met Shalka, addressed the showing of support and concern from the College community. Skaters Paola Peacock-Villada '03 , Kelly Morr '05 and Meg Thering '05 also spoke about their friend.

Peacock-Villada, captain of the Dartmouth Figure Skating Team, organized the event and distributed fuschia ribbons to attendees to wear in support of Shalka and her family.

After the formal portion of the gathering concluded, Morr and Kevin Pedersen '05 videotaped the singing and dancing of a special team song, "Lucky" by Britney Spears, and made a video greeting card to mail to the Shalka family. Morr and Pedersen taped the entirety of the ceremony.

For members of the figure skating team, the gathering "helped us feel strong together," McGean. The relay of "little bits of good news" from Shalka's father in France has also helped lift the spirits of Shalka's friends and teammates in Hanover over the last week.

"We're thankful that people are keeping her in their thoughts and prayers," McGean said, noting the Shalka family's appreciation for the concern expressed by the Dartmouth community.

Other members of the Dartmouth community in attendance included Coach Michael McGean and figure skating's academic advisor Professor Robert Binswanger.

Shalka is receiving treatment at Hospital Lapeyronie in Montpelier, France.