Two types of athletes, two types of skating, two groups that may not always find common ground — or in this case, ice.
“Neither one understands the other, unless you try them both,” said Omahan Sarah Lopez, a former competitive figure skater who has also played her fair share of hockey. “Each sport feels ownership of the ice, and when there's limited availability, the claws really come out.”
Lopez grew up figure skating, but later, because of injuries, gave it up and played hockey in high school and also at the club level in college. She now coaches skills development to local hockey players.
She's gotten concussions while competing in both sports, but has no doubt which is more dangerous.
That would be the one in which — at 5-foot-4 and 110 pounds — she was one of the taller participants.
“Figure skaters are moving at incredible speed and lobbing their bodies into the air while wearing tights and a lycra dress,” she said. “At least hockey players are wearing pads.”