Ramsay Trophy at DSC

Posted: June 10, 2010
Meryl Davis, Charlie White to get Ramsay Trophy tonight at Detroit Skating Club
DSC award named for late Detroit skater

BY JO-ANN BARNAS
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

Christine Moceri was 13 when her vivacious and talented 16-year-old brother died in a Feb. 15, 1961, plane crash in Belgium that killed the entire U.S. Figure Skating world team that was on its way to Prague for the championships.

Doug Ramsay and his coach, William Swallender, who also died in the crash, were members of the Detroit Skating Club.

Ramsay, who grew up in Detroit and was a student at Redford High, was the 1960 U.S. junior champion. He placed fourth in his first senior championships, in January 1961, and as first-alternate was added to the world team when bronze medalist Tim Brown withdrew because of illness.

U.S. Figure Skating has commissioned a film project, titled "RISE," that's scheduled to premiere in February to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the tragedy. The film's intention is to honor the world team while celebrating the rebuilding of American figure skating in the decades following the crash.

"He was like my best friend," Moceri, 62, of Clinton Township, said of her brother Doug. "We did a lot of things together. We loved dancing to 'American Bandstand,' making up routines in the basement. He was a great person."

Moceri, the third of four Ramsay siblings (Doug was second oldest), added: "Each one of us felt like we were the closest to him; that's how he made us feel."

The Detroit Skating Club, which moved from Detroit to Bloomfield Hills in the 1970s, has honored figure skaters since 1961 with the Doug Ramsay Trophy.

During tonight's intermission of its annual skating show, ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White will be presented with the Ramsay Trophy for their phenomenal season that included winning the Olympic and world silver medals, and the U.S. title.

Although Davis and White train at the Arctic Figure Skating Club in Canton, the team grew up skating at the Detroit SC and White still represents the club.

Members of Ramsay's family, including Moceri and her brother, David Ramsay of South Lyon, will attend a private reception before the event. Moceri hopes her father and stepmother, Alex and Cathy Ramsay of Houghton Lake, will make it down.

"We're honored to have them here," said Jerod Swallow, Detroit SC executive director.

Moceri said: "It's pretty emotional. I told Mr. Swallow, 'I want you to know, I'm a crier.' "

Contact JO-ANN BARNAS: 313-222-2037 or jbarnas@freepress.com. Read more in her Olympics blog at freep.com/olympicsblog.

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