“The Inside Edge” is a column by Faith Bonds about figure skating.
The Las Vegas figure skating community knew her name, her smile, her talent and joy on the ice, but many around the country didn’t yet have the pleasure of knowing her.
Twelve-year-old Monet and her father, Mark, were tragically killed last Friday night by a reckless motorcycle that struck their car. The two were on their way to meet Monet’s mother, Maria Conchos, for dinner at a local Italian restaurant.
According to the Las Vegas Police Department, officers noticed the motorcyclist speeding down the street, but were unable to pull him over. Just minutes later, he fatally collided with Garcia’s car.
“[Monet] loved to perform in front of the crowd and just give her program,” said Marissa Martin, president of the Las Vegas Figure Skating Club. “She gave her all. She volunteered with the club, she volunteered with the community. She was just a very amazing child."
Monet’s friends and family describe her as a hardworking, helpful girl who loved to share her passion for skating with others. She trained morning and night at the SoBe Ice Arena, where she also volunteered as a junior coach for the Vegas Golden Knights Skating Academy.
"She was here on the ice in the morning before school, after school,” Martin said. “She was always working and training and just working on her craft."
Monet was looking forward to her first opportunity to be a “Golden Sweeper” at Skate America, an international competition that will be held in Las Vegas next month. She would have been one of many little girls looking up to world-class skaters while picking up the toys and flowers thrown onto the ice.
"She was very excited. She got her gold dress last week and was looking forward to [being a Golden Sweeper] and I know that the other skaters were too...We're really sad she won’t be with us," Skate America volunteer manager Amelia Keene said.
Members of the Las Vegas skating community are stepping up to support Monet’s mother in her time of unimaginable loss and distress. Martha Horner, an LVFSC executive board advisor, set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral expenses. So far the campaign has raised nearly $14,000.
“I am continuously left speechless with the level of gratitude I feel with people’s continuous support,” Conchos posted on the GoFundMe page Tuesday.
The skating club will also host a benefit skate, called “Skate for Monet,” on Saturday, Sept. 21, to honor Monet’s memory. Proceeds from the event will also go toward the Garcia family’s funeral expenses.
As the skating community mourns the loss of this beautiful soul, who so clearly had a passion for skating and for life, it is important to carry on her legacy. Too often, skaters act unkindly toward one another because of the sport’s competitive environment, but we must learn from Monet’s example to pick others up when they fall down. Monet brought light to her rink and her community that will continue to shine far beyond her final days.
“Monet was a beautiful girl with a zest for life,” wrote LVFSC in a statement. “She was a member of our skating family for nearly four years and her loss leaves a giant Monet sized hole that will never be filled.”
“The Inside Edge” runs every Wednesday.