Ice Network

Boston's Carriere walks away with head held high

Former U.S. bronze medalist shifts focus to finishing school, coaching
  • Ice Network on Facebook
  • Ice Network on Twitter
Stephen Carriere achieved top-10 finishes at the U.S. championships all six times he competed in the senior men's event. -Jay Adeff

After 11 years of competing for U.S. Figure Skating, I have decided to retire from competitive skating. While this decision is not an entirely shocking one, it is the result of careful consideration, and was made in the best interests of everyone it directly impacts.

Early in my career, I was so driven to reach the milestones that every skater wants to achieve. I am immensely grateful that I was able to do that and reap the rewards from my work. For a couple of seasons, my career was plagued by injuries, but competing still served as an opportunity to face the pressure I placed on myself head on. In recent years, I was incredibly driven to return to the Grand Prix Series and improve my skill set as an athlete.

After the 2013-14 season, I questioned whether I wanted to go on. However, when I found that I had earned a Grand Prix in the fall of 2014, I knew it would be foolish not to compete on a circuit that I had been working to get back on for three years.

This spring proved very different. I have always known that my competitive career would end when I received my college degree. Over the past couple of months, I came to the realization that competing another season would not make me a happier individual, and that subsequent international assignments would be better used on more deserving athletes. So I am stepping aside and will instead focus on optimizing my final semester at Boston College and actively pursuing a career upon leaving campus in December. 

As I leave competition behind, I will take with me some of the greatest memories of my life, and I will never forget having worked with the greatest people I have ever met. I am so honored to have met some of the finest athletes in the world at competitions and during my training at the Skating Club of Boston. My competitive peers are amazing people, and I am so grateful to call them friends and confidants.

Without my parents and my coaches, I would not have accomplished nearly as much as I did. My parents are my rock. My mother would jump in front of a train, if it meant I would be eternally happy, and my father has silently supported every step I have made in my career.

Going way back, I have to acknowledge my first coach, Susan Hamel-Botari. She picked me out at a public rink and brought me to the Skating Club of Boston so that I could have a chance to work with professionals who could take me to the next level. The two coaches with whom I am most closely identified, Mark Mitchell and Peter Johansson, helped me achieve many milestones, but the one I will forever remember is earning a bronze medal at the 2008 U.S. Championships in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Mark and Peter helped me reach the highest peaks of my career, and I will never forget all they have done. I also owe a lot to Priscilla Hill and everyone at the Skating Club of Wilmington. Priscilla and the gang were with me during a very difficult time in my career, and she gave me the strength to always push forward, no matter the circumstances.

I am eternally grateful to U.S. Figure Skating, the Skating Club of Boston and Suna Murray. Everyone at U.S. Figure Skating and the many judges, team leaders, doctors and physios worked with me, healed me and saw me grow up. I am immensely grateful for all that U.S. Figure Skating has done for me and my career. The skating club has been my second home for 15 years, and I am so grateful to be a part of a club that helped me live out my dreams. Suna was my second chance. She helped me believe in myself, and she helped me become the best skater, and person, I could be. Suna has become a second mother. I was able to fight for four more seasons because of that formidable woman.

I am not leaving the sport altogether, however...far from it. I am very involved in the Skating Club of Boston, both on the marketing and performance sides, as well as coaching. I find instructing to be so rewarding, and I am thrilled that my love of skating has shifted to this area. I enjoy not only seeing the athletes I work with accomplish their goals but watching them develop into the coolest and most amazing individuals. I look forward to helping skaters get where they want to be, and would certainly welcome the chance to work with my peers and younger athletes in the future.

I have gotten so much out of this sport, it is impossible to list everything. My most important takeaway is this: You cannot get anywhere unless you are willing to do the work. Even as a young skater, I was always energetic and worked hard, but skating has shaped my work ethic and has enabled me to develop a passion and appreciation for whatever I am working on, and who I am working with.

A pilates instructor of mine told me something once: A career is not something you pick apart in real time; it is something you look back at and admire how much you have accomplished.

I am pleased to say that I can do that.