NYC ice skaters fume at de Blasio for closing rinks to punish Trump

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Skaters at Central Park’s two rinks are devastated that this weekend will be their last on the ice this season — and angry at Mayor de Blasio for closing the Trump-run rinks early to spite his political nemesis.

The Post broke the news Saturday that Lasker and Wollman rinks will shut down Sunday, six weeks ahead of their typical April closing dates.

Last month, Hizzoner announced he was nixing the city’s contracts with the Trump Organization, alleging then-President Trump had encouraged rioters to storm the Capitol.

Trump’s business group, run by his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, has operated the rinks for more than 30 years.

Skaters hitting the ice Saturday told The Post that they felt like pawns in de Blasio’s political game.

“The real people they’re hurting are the 2,500 children that have been benefiting from the skating program this season and 250 innocent employees who have been keeping this going for us,” said Lee Krausner, 49, while watching her two daughters skate.

Figure skaters (from left) Jacey Hootstein, Serena Sabet, Maya Henning and Jocelyn Belena practicing at Wollman Ice Rink.
Figure skaters (from left) Jacey Hootstein, Serena Sabet, Maya Henning and Jocelyn Belena practicing at Wollman rink.
J.C.Rice

Also Saturday, the Trump Organization posted a letter about the closing on a door at Wollman Rink.

Next to the letter was a notice about a petition to stop the rink from closing early. The petition, started by figure skater Sabrina Sabet, had more than 1,700 signatures by Saturday afternoon.

“I was so upset. I’ve literally skated here since I was 3 years old. …. We know everyone here, it’s like a second family,” said Sabet, 18, who was at the rink Saturday. “This is our senior year. So many things have already been ruined.”

Marc Weitzman, who has taught figure skating at Wollman for 12 years, told The Post that de Blasio’s decision will affect the young skaters more than Trump.

“I understand politics, I get it, but I think in this particular situation who ends up getting hurt are the children and all of us that teach here,” said Weitzman, 44.

The parks department is seeking a new concessionaire to operate the rinks, but proposals for the job aren’t due until March 19. The city also plans to sever contracts with the Trump Organization for the Central Park Carousel and Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx.

The mayor’s office could not explain Friday why another concessionaire wasn’t found before closing the rinks, and did not respond to questions from The Post on Saturday.

Ellis Santos (left) and Josh Eichinger, 10 (right) in the locker room after playing hockey at Wollman rink.
Ellis Santos (left) and Josh Eichinger (right) in the locker room after playing hockey at Wollman rink.
Sam Raskin

“I wish someone from the city would pick up the tabs. Bloomberg, or anybody, one of the big corporations so the kids don’t have to suffer,” said Francois Ragot, 50, whose son has been playing hockey at Lasker for the past decade.

“It was very sad,” he said. “Last night, the kids were playing hockey and we figured out there are no games for the rest of the season.”

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