desert ice castle

Have an Ice Day

Olympic gold medalist coach Frank Carroll still skates circles around Desert Ice Castle in Cathedral City.

GREG ARCHER Attractions, Current Guide

desert ice castle
At age 80, Frank Carroll can still skate circles around Desert Ice Castle.
PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRISTINA FRARY

THE TALE END

Frank Carroll

Skating Coach, Desert Ice Castle
68600 Perez Road, Cathedral City
deserticecastle.com

Frank Carroll is so hot it’s cool.

Well, “cool” in the sense that it’s not every day that you meet a guy who lives in Rona Barrett’s former abode (near Elvis’ famed honeymoon lair); or somebody who followed his childhood passion for ice skating back “home” in Worcester, Massachusetts, to become a national junior singles bronze medal winner in 1959 and 1960; or a gent who morphed into an Olympic gold medalist coach who has taught the likes of Linda Sue Fratianne, Michelle Kwan, and 2010 Olympic champion Evan Lysacek, to note only a few.

“I was blessed,” Carroll says. “Michelle was very young when she started with me. She won the national title nine times. Teaching her was a dream, and she was the best all-around skater I ever taught.”

Though he’s officially retired, Carroll, 80, still skates circles around his milieu — figuratively, that is. He coaches at Desert Ice Castle, a rink he and a pal nudged owner (and seven-time Aussie figure-skating champ) Anthony Liu to open several years ago. Carroll also mentors athletes for U.S. Figure Skating in Irvine twice a month.

“Ice skating has the greatest combination of artistry, athleticism, and music,” he points out. “There’s such beauty and movement and a feeling of freedom over the ice.”

In between, Carroll relishes life in the Coachella Valley. “I first came here for a modeling job, if you can believe it,” he shares.

“When I looked at the mountains, it was like a religious experience, and I was fascinated by the stories of the [Cahuilla] Indians and how the mountains were sacred to them. For me, this is my own little bit of paradise.

Frank recommends

Le Vallauris Restaurant, Palm Springs’ standout French venue, because, “While I like to walk around in flip-flops here, it’s also great to put on nice clothes. It’s a throwback of sophistication for me.”

Meet last month’s Tale End profile: Red Jeep driver Morgan Levine