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A Legacy Lives On

Christopher Nolan is the grandson of U.S. ice dancing coach Danny Ryan, who was killed in the 1961 plane crash that killed the entire United States world figure skating team. But Icenetwork has an article about how Ryan's legacy has lived on through Christopher's grandmother Paquette Ryan who was also a skating coach, as well as his mother and aunt, who were skaters, and finally through Christopher, who will be competing in this year's Nationals as a novice pairs skater with Marissa Spector. Nolan's mother, Sheryl Ryan Nolan, is a coach today.

Although Christopher will be competing in pair skating and his grandfather competed and coached in ice dancing, Christopher says that he feels a strong link to his grandfather's skating legacy since the two branches of skating both involve a partner. (Young Christopher has done some ice dancing but prefers pair skating.)

Christopher's grandfather won the ice dancing event at the 1953 U.S. Championships. Before winning that title, he and his partner, Carol Ann Peters, were the first U.S. figure skaters to earn world medals in ice dancing, taking the bronze at the 1952 and '53 World Figure Skating Championships.

"A few years ago, my mom gave Christopher one of my dad's world bronze medals," explained Sheryl Nolan. "She hoped it would bring Christopher good luck. We take the medal with us to most competitions."

What a heartwarming story. It's so nice that the legacy has lived on.