Ice Network

Mayer Godino infuses skating into everyday life

1992 Olympian stays involved in sports 25 years after greatest triumph
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Rachel Mayer Godino, along with husband Tom and children Kylie (left), Thomas and Annie, enjoy their busy schedules in Florida. -Courtesy of Rachel Mayer Godino

Rachel Mayer Godino isn't involved in skating anymore, but that doesn't mean the sport hasn't remained a major presence in her life. A mother of three, the 43-year-old carries a sense of focus and commitment -- not to mention an understanding of how to be a partner.

Married for 19 years to husband Tom, the 1992 Olympian said her ice dance partnership with Peter Breen -- with whom she won the 1989 U.S. junior title and competed successfully at the senior level -- helped her understand the sense of teamwork that allows a marriage to flourish.

"In ice dancing, you have to manage relationships," she said. "Skating with a partner through the ups and downs gave me skills that have helped me all throughout my life, marriage and every job setting."

Mayer and Breen didn't arrive at the 1992 U.S. Championships in Orlando as the favorites for an Olympic berth. They knew that by delivering solid programs, however, they'd place themselves in contention. When defending U.S. champions Elizabeth Punsalan and Jerod Swallow faltered, Mayer and Breen solidified their place at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games with a silver medal-winning display. 

"The whole (Olympic) experience was incredible -- the sense of team and pride that you feel, and the humility, because you're around so many amazing athletes," said Mayer Godino, who finished 15th with Breen in Albertville, France. "We were fortunate to also have some time when we were done competing to go and see some other events and meet other athletes." 

An injury ended her competitive career in 1994, but that didn't stop Mayer from staying close to the sport. She was active in U.S. Figure Skating, serving as chair of the Athletes Advisory Committee, and became involved with the U.S. Olympic Committee as chair of its Athletes' Advisory Council, a position she held from 2001-04.

"Representing figure skating first and then chairing that group led to a broader understanding of all of the different sports and appreciating the similarities and differences among them," she said.

Prior to becoming a full-time mom to three children, Mayer Godino worked in the field of environmental permitting. She had taken courses at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs when she and Breen trained in the area, and after retiring from competitive skating, she attended Stanford University, graduating in 1997 with a major in political science. 

Upon completing college, Mayer Godino moved back to Boston and began working. In 2003, she and Tom, who works in commercial real estate, decided to leave the cold winters of the Northeast and moved to Tequesta, Florida.

Even though she and Godino both have New England roots, they adapted quickly to the year-round warm weather of the Sunshine State. Their kids -- Kylie, 11, Thomas, 9, and Annie, 6 -- play outdoor sports like lacrosse, golf and track, and the whole family loves to swim, boat and fish.

Mayer Godino follows skating and watches key competitions with her children. She also stays connected to sports as a board member of Athletes for Hope, an organization that tries to increase the involvement of Olympic, collegiate and professional athletes in charitable and community causes.

Mayer Godino said, "I'm very grateful for all of the opportunities that I had and all the people who helped me along my journey. Being involved with U.S. Figure Skating, the USOC and now Athletes for Hope is my way of trying to give back and help other people have those amazing, life-learning opportunities that I was fortunate to have."