Local figure skater headed to Special Olympics World Games

Learning a new sport is difficult, no matter who you are.

For a West Palm Beach couple, they've helped each other to figure skate, despite learning disabilities, and now one of them is headed for international competition.

Allan Lohr is headed to Austria - "I'm really excited," he says.

The 34 year old from West Palm Beach was hand picked, as one of the sole Americans to compete in the Special Olympics World Games.

Lohr has a slow learning disability, but figure skating seems to come quite naturally.

"I accidentally did a double axle," he claims. "I'm not sure how I did it, but I did it."

"He can jump right, he can jump left," says Palm Beach Ice Works Director of Figure Skating Martine de la Torre. "You show him how to do it and he can do it! Which is amazing."

But Lohr really didn't learn how to figure skate himself - in 2005 he was going to the World Games as a speed skater, and that's where he met Becky.

"When we got picked for Japan, we sat next to each other on the bus and the plane and we would talk and talk," says Becky Lohr. "And then we started dating, and got married after the games."

After that, Allan picked up a different kind of skate, so he could train with Becky.

"There isn't a sport he can't do," she says.

"She helps me be more confident and supports me," says Allan.

But unfortunately this time around, Becky will not be joining her husband at worlds. The Special Olympics only pays for the competitors, and while Allan has worked at a local Winn Dixie for 17 years and Becky works at a Pet Supermarket - they cannot afford an extra ticket to Austria, and Allan admits it will be a little tough not to have her there by his side.

But he is going for gold, halfway across the world. He'll just have to do it without his partner on the ice, and in life.

"I know he's going to do really well," says Becky. "He's not scared. He can do it."

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off