Alice Ao, Gwinnett Magazine Intern
Gwinnett Magazine interns share what makes their personal Best of Gwinnett list from Alice Ao, Peachtree Ridge High School
It's a chilly day in Duluth, Georgia as clouds and light fog envelop the skies. While most people are retreating into the warmth of their heated homes, others are flocking to the Ice Forum. As one of the largest skating facilities in the Gwinnett area, the Ice Forum has become a staple of Gwinnett life.
In one of its rinks, young skaters are learning how to spin and spiral their way across the ice under the watchful guidance of private instructors. Around them, new skaters are clinging to the boards, taking their first steps across the ice with trepidation and building excitement. Families are huddled together, and friends link their arms together, sharing each stumble and glide on the ice. In another rink, hockey players are racing across the ice, and above them, spectators catch every goal and penalty from their seats in the Breakaway Grill. Whether they're chasing after their dreams across the ice or spending time with their friends and family, skaters find solace and joy in the Duluth Ice Forum.
Open year-round, the skating facility offers several public sessions a week, allowing beginners and recreational skaters to enjoy time on the ice. Children, teens and adults may also sign up for group lessons from the Skating Academy, allowing them to work their way through Basic Levels and learn various ice dances, spins, jumps, spirals, hockey skills, and more. Some of Georgia's top young skaters have trained at the Duluth Ice Forum, working with the several coaches the academy has to offer.
The facility also hosts birthday parties, offers figure skating competitions, and even serves as a filming location - portions of the Oscar-nominated film I, Tonya were shot at the recreational rink. Additionally, the facility boasts The Breakaway Grill, a popular sports bar, as well as the Fireside Cafe.
Complete with expert training to fuel Olympic dreams and hours of skating to spend with family and friends, the Duluth Ice Forum is truly one of Gwinnett's finest athletic and recreational centers. It's much more than just a skating rink -- also a warm atmosphere amidst the freezing temperatures that cultivates a collaborative community between skaters and builds an environment for locals to find joy in stepping out of their comfort zones and onto the awaiting ice.