Roller skating in Nebraska is not dead thanks to sport lovers who keep this activity alive

Late at night, when she can blast Kesha and skate alone, is Alexia Woodall’s favorite time to roller skate. Initially, roller skating connected Woodall to her competitive figure skating days in Colorado as a child.

“It was a feeling of nostalgia,” said Woodall, a Bellevue sophomore majoring in secondary education English with a concentration in journalism.

In Nebraska, roller rinks have been on a decline. There are presently no permanent roller rinks in Lincoln, however the Good Life Skate Center organizes monthly skating activities whenever possible at the Lincoln Sports Foundation.

LincolnRink was the first roller rink to open in Lincoln, as reported by the Lincoln Journal Star, in 1936. The existence of USA Roller Sports and the National Museum of Roller Skating in Lincoln gives the city a unique link to roller skating. Max McKillip, curator and archivist of the National Museum of Roller Skating, stated that Lincoln was one of the potential options for moving the museum and USA Roller Sports to the center of the country.

This past summer, Lincoln also hosted the USA Roller Sports National Championships. According to McKillip, the tournament attracted over one thousand skate lovers to the museum.

“It was great that we had such a large number of visitors to the museum, all of whom were really interested and eager to learn about it,” McKillip remarked.

Skating on roller skates has existed for ages. According to the National Museum of Roller Skating, roller skates were initially used in the 1700s, and the first roller rink debuted in 1857 in London, England. By the 1880s, around 3,000 rinks had opened around the world. Throughout the 1880s, 1940s, 1970s, and 1990s, roller skating was immensely popular.

David Frank, age 55, has owned Skate City in Bellevue for 17 years. In 2005, he took over the roller rink and altered the former roller rink’s name.

Six-year-old Frank began roller skating in Colorado Springs, Colorado. When he was old enough, Frank obtained a job passing out skates at a skating rink. Then he rose to the position of manager and eventually became the proprietor of Skate City in Bellevue.

Frank stated, “It was the proper action.” “When we reached adolescence, there was no doubt that if you weren’t skating, you weren’t cool. It was as cool as that.”

Woodall, like Frank, stated that roller skating provided her a “wow” effect.

“It makes me feel kind of cool,” Woodall added. “I’m not a skateboarder, I despise scooters, and biking isn’t exactly my thing, but I feel quite groovy and fresh. I got roller skates.'”

Frank stated that youth competitive sports contributed to the downfall of roller skating. When he was younger, local youth sports were prevalent. Currently, children are occupied with sports camps and cross-country trips for games and contests.

Frank stated, “Parents are so busy shuttling their children about town that they have no time for family activities.” We usually emphasize that this is a wonderful time to spend with family as one of our primary points of emphasis.

Frank stated that Skate City offers a family discount on Wednesdays and hosts family skate nights in an effort to promote family unity.

In addition to focusing on family, Frank has added activities such as roller hockey, skate classes, and summer daycare to help keep Skate City open.

A competitive roller skating display at the National Museum of Roller Skating features games such as roller derby, roller basketball, and roller soccer. The museum, located at the intersection of 48th and South streets, features five exhibits that explore the history of roller skating.

McKillip stated, “I believe it is an integral part of the American experience.” “There are a lot of great historical stuff, especially around the middle of the twentieth century, like little communities hosting roller skating festivals or activities, which is pretty unique to American culture.”

While roller skating has a long history in the United States and internationally, it also has an impact on individuals. Frank stated that roller skating increases children’s motor abilities, coordination, and self-esteem.

Frank stated, “I observe this in our skating classes.” “When a youngster is able to skate or accomplish something that they were unable to do on skates previously, such as learning how to skate backwards or how to skate forwards a little better, you can see the smile on their face when they’ve achieved, when they’ve gotten it. It helps children develop self-assurance.”

A more recent display at the National Museum of Roller Skating explored the impact of social media on roller skating, particularly the impact of TikTok. #Rollerskating has nearly eight billion views on TikTok.

Frank stated that he hopes roller skating would make a comeback.

Frank stated, “There is an old saying that history repeats itself, and we hope this is true.” We hope that history will repeat itself, and that there will be a roller skating revival similar to the 1980s and 1990s.

Despite the absence of permanent roller rinks in Lincoln, Woodall attempts to skate several times per week. She desires additional roller rinks in Lincoln, but until then, she will skate on a gymnasium floor while listening to Kesha.

“It’s like how people who swim, like swimmers, say, ‘Oh, the water is my home,'” Woodall explained. “For me, being on skates offers me a sense of tranquility. It’s like, “Wow, I could potentially conquer the world.”

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