At New York’s Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers, a 95-year-old federal judge can be seen lacing up his ice skates twice a week and hitting the cold, hard ice where he’s been ice dancing for 20 years.

Robert Sweet, a U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York federal judge, works out in the mornings before he heads to his chambers.

He was given a pair of ice skates some 20 years ago by his wife Adele who was a competitive figure skater and has been learning to become an ice dancing judge. He took to the sport because he wanted to understand what his wife was doing.

“This is a very precise sport,” Sweet said on the rink. “It’s very important that you be balanced. It’s very important that you be in the right place on your blade. It looks as if you’re on the entire blade, but you’re not. You’re just on a relatively small part of the blade. So it’s a challenging thing. But once you get it right, it’s a lovely sense of balance, speed, freedom.”

Sweet has been training with his ice dancing coach and two-time Olympian, Samvel Gezalian, for the past 20 years. (Reuters/Screenshot)

He’s been training with his ice dancing coach and two-time Olympian, Samvel Gezalian, for the past 20 years.

“If I knew him back then, before my professional career in the Olympic Games, I think he will be the one who will skate with me in the Olympic Games,” Gezalian said. “He improved so much. He’s doing silver-level dances. He’s doing all these technical elements, choctaws, brackets, twizzles. And I think it’s incredible.”

Sweet is Gezalian’s oldest client.

“In the beginning I was very afraid because, federal judge, and in Russia we don’t like judges,” Gezalian joked. “We don’t like anybody who is law enforcement, but he became not as my student. He become as my friend because he’s a very, unbelievably nice person.”

The judge won’t let two concussions—one from ice skating, the other from skiing—stop him from ice dancing. He just wears a helmet in the rink.

“Ice dancing is sort of a metaphor for life in the sense that you have to learn, so you have to keep learning new things all the time to progress,” he said. “So it keeps the mind obviously working and building new capacities in the brain. I don’t think it directly relates to judging except, I suppose, you have to be patient too, you have to work hard.”

The judge won’t let two concussions stop him from ice dancing. He now wears a helmet when skating. (Reuters/Screenshot)

Despite his age, Sweet still handles a full caseload at the courthouse.

“I think I have been one very, very lucky fellow,” he said. “I’m married to an absolutely wonderful woman. We’ve had a glorious life. This is an interesting, challenging, and I hope, a productive job. I mean I couldn’t ask for a better life.”

Sweet was appointed by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in 1978.

In his career, the judge decided many high-profile cases, including rejecting patenting genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer, telling investors they could pursue claims against Facebook prior to its May 2012 IPO over internal projections on how increased mobile usage and product decisions might reduce future revenue, dismissing a lawsuit blaming McDonald’s for obesity in children and recently denying movie producer Harvey Weinstein’s motion to dismiss a civil lawsuit by British actress Kadian Noble.

Share
Categories: Entertainment Sport

Video Popular

  • Celebrating Arbor Day With Books

    Celebrating Arbor Day With Books

    Trees were once considered sacred and awe-inspiring: Oaks were worshiped by the European Druids, redwoods were a part of American Indian ritual, and baobabs a part of African tribal life. Ancient Chin ...

  • Sharks Eat Their Greens, Too—First Omnivorous Species Confirmed

    Sharks Eat Their Greens, Too—First Omnivorous Species Confirmed

    Not all sharks feed only on meat—at least one shark species also feeds on seagrass. Scientists have confirmed that one of the most common sharks in the world is an omnivore. The bonnethead shark, a re ...

  • Microsoft Flags Dangers to EU of Plans to Limit Data Use

    Microsoft Flags Dangers to EU of Plans to Limit Data Use

    Microsoft said on Sept. 5, that EU lawmakers’ copyright reforms limiting the use of potentially valuable data to non-profit bodies could damage the European Union’s digital development. Co ...

  • How Setting a Schedule Can Make You Less Productive

    How Setting a Schedule Can Make You Less Productive

    It can seem like there’s never enough time—not enough for sleep and not enough for play, not enough for cooking. and not enough for exercise. There’s a relatively new term to describe this feeling: ti ...

  • RiNo, Denver: America’s Best Place for a Bar Crawl?

    RiNo, Denver: America’s Best Place for a Bar Crawl?

    “RiNo reminds me of Williamsburg in 2004—just pretentious enough to be good, not yet pretentious enough to be annoying.” Kevin Burke is joking, of course. As the general manager of American Bonded—one ...

  • Respecting Teachers and Cherishing Virtue

    Respecting Teachers and Cherishing Virtue

    Respecting teachers and cherishing virtues are part of the traditional ethics practiced by the Chinese people. Teachers, who impart morality, knowledge, and values, teach people the proper ways to int ...

  • Home Ownership in Canada Declines, Reversing Long Upward Trend

    Home Ownership in Canada Declines, Reversing Long Upward Trend

    Home ownership in Canada fell for the first time in over 45 years, according to a Point2Homes study released this week. It had reached a record high of 69 percent in 2011, but as of 2016, it fell to 6 ...

  • Aretha Franklin Dresses, Hats to Go up for Auction

    Aretha Franklin Dresses, Hats to Go up for Auction

    NEW YORK—More than 30 dresses and accessories worn on stage by Aretha Franklin are going up for auction. The Queen of Soul died at age 76 in Detroit on Aug. 16. Julien’s Auctions says the items ...

  • 87 Elephants Found Slaughtered in Botswana, Africa

    87 Elephants Found Slaughtered in Botswana, Africa

    An alarming number of elephant carcasses have been discovered in aerial surveys across Botswana in what has been described as a “poaching frenzy.” Botswana was once known as a sanctuary fo ...

  • Yes, Marijuana Can Be Addictive

    Yes, Marijuana Can Be Addictive

    The business world is salivating at the potential $22.6 billion recreational marijuana market in Canada, with more new pot users expected after legalization on Oct. 17. But public-health officials wan ...

  • Google Races to Parry the Rise of Facebook in India

    Google Races to Parry the Rise of Facebook in India

    Google retains only a slight lead over Facebook in the competition for digital ad dollars in the crucial India market, sources familiar with the figures say, even though the search giant has been in t ...

  • Canada in Brief, Sept. 6-12

    Canada in Brief, Sept. 6-12

    Trudeau says he won’t use ‘tricks’ to ram through pipeline construction Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pouring cold water on Alberta’s suggestion that the federal government use legislation or a cou ...