Ice skating at a late age?  Is it possible?  Ask John Sloot

John Sloot still remembers growing up in Holland.

“I got a pair of speed skates when I was a child, but I always envied kids with nice figure skates and what they could do. I put up with it,” said Sloot, 91, and still an active member of the New Ulm Figure Skating Club.

Sponsored by Henry Stockman of Minnesota Lake, Sloot immigrated to the United States at age 25. The Stockmans had a pair of figure skates in their garage.

“I asked them if I could try them on and they said sure,” John said.

Working on a farm, John said he enjoyed skating on a nearby pond.

Years later, raising hogs on the family farm near Winthrop, he was bringing a load of feed home from Sleepy Eye one day when he heard about skating for adults on KNUJ radio.

“I asked them if there were any older people skating in the club,” John said. He was soon skating on Saturday mornings at the then Vogel Arena in New Ulm.

John’s skating teacher started putting on skating shows.

“They needed a snowman. I was the snowman,” John said. “My (late) wife (Minnie) made sheets to make me look like a snowman sometime back in the 1980s. Little kids in the show followed me in the show.”

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