Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Jean Pocha
Pathfinder Staff 

World Champion adaptive skater recalls her start in Seeley Lake


February 9, 2023

Beth Loconte

Seeley Lake figure skater Dacia Loconte shown competing at the 2020 Excel Festival in Florida.

World Champion Adaptive figure skater Dacia Loconte, age 16, got her start at the Seeley Lake Lions Club rink. In 2022 Loconte earned Junior Ladies Free Inclusive World Championship, Ladies Inclusive World Championships Silver Medalist and Ladies Free Inclusive and Unified Bronze medalist in the 2022 Virtual World Championships for Adaptive Skaters.

“As a three-year-old watching the Olympics, Dacia said she wanted to be an ice skater,” said Beth Loconte, Dacia’s mom.

“We started skating at the Lion’s Club pond in Seeley Lake while we lived there and she’s been skating ever since.”

From the Lion’s Club pond to skating in Missoula and then finding a skating club in Colorado Springs when the family relocated for job purposes, Dacia began competing at age seven and entered the Adaptive skating community when it got developed in the United States in 2021.

U.S. Skating wanted to develop a program similar to the U.S. Paralympics in order to meet the needs and capabilities of all skaters. “Inclusive Skating” is the European version of adaptive skating that has been in place for over ten years. There are over 250 skaters competing worldwide.

“I had a chance encounter with a talented and lovely skater participating in the beginner class in the Irish Championships 2010,” said Margarita Sweeney-Baird, Technical Director of the Ice skating Association of Ireland on

“Courtney was unable to pass the basic skating exam due to a spinal issue. I thought something had to be done to allow beautiful skaters like Courtney to participate and progress through the sport, which led to Inclusive Skating.”

The U.S. Figure Skating Adaptive Program offers recreational and competitive avenues for skaters with physical and intellectual disabilities to thrive.  Adaptive skaters may skate with any disability, whether physical, emotional or intellectual. Some skaters perform independently while some have a partner to assist with balance or to push their wheelchair to choreographed music.

“Currently the U.S. Adaptive Skating program is still in its developmental stages,” said Beth. “Only some ice skating competitions offer events for adaptive skaters.” 

“Dacia was able to compete four times in 2022,” said Beth. “We have been embraced and supported by the Broadmoor Figure Skating Club (Colorado Springs), the coaches have researched and implemented the best methods to train with Dacia.”

“I love to perform for everybody and I love the competitive spirit that’s in the sport,” said Dacia in an interview on “It’s really fun to compete against other athletes and see what they can bring.”

Dacia is looking forward to competing at the 2023 Inclusive Skating Championships in Scotland in October or November 2023.


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