Ion International Training Center in Leesburg

The Ion International Training Center in Leesburg is the first of its kind in the area, a magnificent enterprise where high end Olympic athletes come to train on the ice from all over the world and where the rest of us can come to skate, learn to skate and much, much more. The Ion Center is the realization of the dream of Romanian Olympic figure skater, coach and judge, Luiz Taifas who with his wife, Mitra Setayesh, have brought ice and experience together for the love of the sport of figure skating. Travis Huff, the General Manager/Executive Director sat down with me to talk about Ion, its work culture, its international clientele, its community connection and its numerous fantastic opportunities for ice sports and more.

Besides being an internationally recognized training facility for high level competitive skaters, Ion offers opportunities for learning and competing. Skating coaches on staff are from all over the world. Anilsa and Ruslin are from Russia; Gary and Daphne from Great Britain; owner, Luiz from Romania to name a few. They offer training on the ice in small groups at a reasonable cost. These instructors work with 35 children currently enrolled in the Ion Figure Skating Academy. They also teach/coach Synchro-Skating Teams and Dance Skating.There is free skate time on the ice, an adult learning program and a senior class which recently included a 95 year old woman who did just fine.

The Ion offers opportunities to learn to play ice hockey and be part of competitive leagues. Also part of the Ion program is Curling, a sport Travis described as “like shuffleboard on ice”, in which players slide stones across the ice toward a target area segmented into four concentric circles. Two teams of four compete. I’m not familiar with this winter Olympic sport, but it sounds like it requires a finely tuned skill in sliding, timing, maneuvering, calculating and ice detexturing.

The enormous Ion facility in Leesburg also includes a full gym and fitness center with a studio offering 25 hours of classes per week. There is even a Study Room for hitting the books. Ion houses two NHL sized ice rinks for recreational and professional athletes, and a stadium sized arena capable of seating up to 5,500.

Another on-site treat at Ion is its upscale restaurant overseen by Executive Chef Ruuska. Offering selections throughout the day from coffee and breakfast to delicious evening meals, Lu’s Bar & Grill has already earned a solid nod from Best of Loudoun.

Ion celebrates with the community by offering entertaining and dramatic events on ice often featuring visits from surprise performers and guests. Contact the Center for information on performances.

Ion International Training Center is proud of its connection to the community of Loudoun which Luis and Mitra call home. The Ion Center continues to thrive with the positive environment they have established and given the solid work ethic that is at the core of Luis professional philosophy.

Ion International Training Center, 19201 Compass Creek Pkwy, Leesburg, VA 20175 703-936-0101; ionitc.com

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