Oi won't compete in upcoming season

Talented scholar will attend MIT this fall

It was a difficult decision, but Curran Oi says he will put competitive skating on hold to focus on his first year of college.
It was a difficult decision, but Curran Oi says he will put competitive skating on hold to focus on his first year of college. (Sarah S. Brannen)


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By Lynn Rutherford, special to
(05/02/2009) - Curran Oi is hanging up his skates to concentrate on his freshman year of college.

"I have made the difficult decision not to skate competitively for the 2009-2010 season," the 18-year-old skater said.

"I still love the sport of figure skating and am very grateful for the tremendous experiences skating has afforded me, but I am starting college at Massachusetts Institute of Technology this fall and want to invest myself fully in my first year."

Oi is the third talented skater and scholar from the Skating Club of Boston to announce this decision. Earlier this week, Katrina Hacker and Brittney Rizo also decided to forgo competing and focus on their studies.

Like Hacker and Rizo, Oi trained under Mark Mitchell and Peter Johansson.

"It has been a great ride. Mark and Peter, my coaches since I was nine years old, have inspired me daily with their passion and commitment. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with them all these years.

"I will miss the challenge of training alongside my friends and the close-knit and supportive community of the Skating Club of Boston."

Oi is taking his leave on a high note, having placed sixth in his senior debut at the 2009 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships after landing the triple Axel in his short program. He followed that with a fifth-place finish at the 2009 World Junior Figure Skating Championships. Other career highlights include two medals on the Junior Grand Prix circuit and the 2006 U.S. novice men's bronze medal.

The skater is a two-time member of the U.S. Figure Skating Scholastic Honors team and has also garnered several scholastic awards including the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Award in math. Earlier this year, he told about his strong connection to MIT.

"I spend three days a week on the MIT campus, because I work out in the Wang Fitness Center there," Oi said.

"It is an intense and energizing environment and has some of the most incredible science and engineering programs in the world. My interests lie in alternative energy, more specifically fusion, and MIT is one of two colleges in the country [the other being Princeton] that does a significant amount of fusion research. I am planning to study nuclear or chemical engineering."