This will be the third time San Jose resident Connie Curry — who, at 80, is the oldest competitor — has participated. Curry was 60 when she bought her first pair of skates and signed up for a group lesson. She now practices four times a week, sometimes three hours a day.

Curry performed an ice dance with Dowding that included several lifts during the opening ceremonies of the adult championships. She also competed in the dramatic entertainment category to the music from the ballet “Giselle,” as well as light entertainment category to “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” from the “Sound of Music.”

“I feel like I’m blazing a trail for everyone behind me,” said Curry, who will receive the Yvonne M. Dowlen Trophy for being the oldest competitor. All athletes 71 and older will receive the Skate Forever Young Award.

Curry — who also started playing banjo at 73 — said when she was growing up, organized sports were nonexistent for girls. “We didn’t have the opportunities they do now,” she said. Indeed, Title IX was still years from being enacted.

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