Watertown teen moves to East Coast for Olympic training

“Every mother, every father, has that spot in their heart that you know it hurts, when they are going to go do something, but you know they have to do it, that's where I am at right now,” Char Kurkowski said when talking about sending her daughter Destiny off for the trip of a lifetime.

The summer Olympics are just wrapping up, and 13-year-old Destiny Kurkowski from Watertown has the winter games on her mind. She has been figure skating since she was 5 years old, and now she is headed to Massachusetts to be coached by former Olympian gold medalists.

“They are really good, I hope to be as good as them one day,” Destiny said.

Destiny will be leaving this week to train. She will be living with a host family, and she will be homeschooled.

“At first I didn’t believe it,” Char said.

It’s an exclusive invitation to train alongside some of the top skaters in the U.S. for the next several months in Plymouth, Massachusetts. While there, Destiny will be evaluated & tested to a higher USFS level, she will be trained by a team of 4-5 coaches to prepare her to compete in the Boston Open and possibly Regionals in October. Destiny’s training will be under the direct supervision of her main coach Melinda Sweezey-Shebecot who is an Olympic gold medalist in figures, freestyle and ice dancing.

“It will pretty much be 5 days on ice, and whenever we aren’t on ice, we are off ice practicing,” Destiny said.

This unique opportunity is special for Destiny and her family in more ways than one. Destiny was born with a hearing & heart condition. She has an Auditory Decoding Deficit, which means each ear hears at a different speed, making it difficult for her to understand people unless she is reading their lips. She also has a hole in her heart.

These two things don’t affect her skating though, in fact, she says the hearing problem is the reason she even chose skating.

At this time it is unclear how long she will be training on the East Coast. If she passes different evaluations, the opportunities are endless. When asked what her ultimate goals in figure skating are, the Olympics were mentioned, but her true dream is to someday be a skater with Disney on Ice.

If you would like to help Destiny, or to just learn more about her trip, her GoFundMe page has been attached to this story. First Premier Bank also taking donations under Destiny's name.