January 19, 2010 in City

Skating snapshot: Technician is one of two skate sharpeners

By The Spokesman-Review
Jesse Tinsley photo

Skate sharpener Larry Muxlow examines a skate during Friday’s action at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.
(Full-size photo)

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Larry Muxlow is one of two skate sharpeners on hand at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

Age: 47

Lives in: Spokane Valley

My title is skate sharpener and repair technician. A guy named John Bevan taught me. He’s my counterpart here. We sit in the “kiss and cry” area. You can see John or me in that hot seat in all competitions.

The most common repair? Replace a lost screw. They lose them where the skate blade attaches to the boot. Skates have anywhere from 10 to 16 screws.

The only machinery is the sharpening machine and nothing’s automated about it. No such thing as bad sharpening allowed at this level of skating. In other words, I don’t get to make a mistake.

Laces get nicked and cut. Once you cut a lace, it won’t hold the tension. I have a whole bag full of laces – white, black, all different lengths.

My day job? Pressman for The Spokesman-Review.

Mom put us on skates right after we could walk. She was a roller skating instructor out at Pattison’s North. I switched to ice at 16.

Yesterday, the skate I had to regrind, I had 15 minutes to get (the skater) out there. How do I keep calm? Breathe.

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