Figure Skates, Figure Skating

2014 Global Ebook Awards

Congratulations Silver Medal Winner of the 2014 Global Ebook Awards!

Congratulations John Harmata, for winning in the Non-Fiction - Sports/Fitness/Recreation category for Anatomy of a Figure Skating Injury. We can’t thank you enough for taking part in the awards this year and for your contribution to promoting the value of ebooks. We enjoyed reading and evaluating your title. and want to let you know what will happen next.

About Us

Welcome to Geppetto's Skate Shop

A place where skaters are equipped to become winners and promoting education about skates is always encouraged.

Our team of experts has more than 100 years of combined experience working with some of the biggest names in America. Since 1978, Geppetto's Skate Shop has serviced thousands of skaters, lectured to hundreds of coaches, skaters and skating parents and has made it possible for skating athletes of all ages to live their dreams and accomplish their goals.

That expertise means we can minimize risk, eliminate guesswork, and ensure that every skater has the proper equipment and that it is as cost effective as possible. You expand your goals and boost your return on investment (ROI).


Helping Individuals and Teams Achieve Great Results In Their Skating Careers...

After 35 years in the industry, John Harmata understands the relationship between properly fitted boots, mounting and blade sharpening and how they relate to one another in the cause and prevention of injury. But throughout his career, he has been concerned that the same types of injuries that skaters experienced decades ago are still wide spread throughout the industry. In many cases parents are spending thousands of dollars on lessons and ice time, only to see that their child has failed to make any progress.

Believing Skate Technicians could do better, John began servicing competitive figure skaters in 1978 with three primary goals:

  • Provide skaters with the absolute best fittings, mountings, and skate sharpening
  • Make verifiable results the yardstick of success, by helping skaters to achieve their goals
  • Ensure superior customer service that values relationships over transactions

These objectives have helped Geppetto's Skate Shop consistently deliver increased performance results by skaters at all levels. Delivering superior service has earned Geppetto's Skate Shop its reputation as an industry leader.


John Harmata

John Harmata, aka Mr. Edge, was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. After attending a technical trade school for medical technology, John worked in microbiology while attending college, where he eventually received a degree and certification in X-ray technology.

While serving his internship in radiology, someone in the skating industry that knew John's background and medical training encouraged him to consider entering the business. This individual would eventually train him in the basics of running a small business in fitting boots, mountings, and blade sharpening. After that, it would be up to John to determine his own future in the industry.

Using His Experience for the Future
As an X-ray technologist working in the emergency room, surgery department, and in individual units using a portable machine, John learned easier, more effective ways of doing things. Applying his medical training to his business practices, John discovered that indeed there truly was an easier, more accurate way to fit boots, mount blades, and sharpen them.

By applying knowledge learned from his skeletal anatomy courses, John quickly made the connection in understanding the importance of properly preparing the boots for mounting, and as a result, he saw a decline in the need for remounting blades. John also detected a decline in many other problems apparently related to bad mountings and fittings. In order to prove his findings were indeed correct, John quickly applied Newton's Third Law of Motion—for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

By using this principle John was quickly able to observe the effects of force from the interaction of 2 objects—the boot and the foot. After several months of trial and error, John had finally developed an accurate system for fitting figure skates, blade mountings, and sharpening. These new techniques John had developed for himself resulted in an overall improvement for the skater and a reduction in skating injuries.

Taking the Next Step
While attending numerous skating competitions and trade shows, including World's in 1987, it became apparent to John that something could and should be done to reduce the amount of injuries figure skaters are prone to. In the years that followed, John had perfected his fitting technique and began submitting suggestions to boot manufacturers on ways to improve the overall fit and comfort of their boots.

In the fall of 2000, John had approached the PSA (Professional Skaters Association) about establishing a training and certification program for skate technicians. In fall of 2001, a member of USFS heard about his work and asked John if he would be interested in contributing some articles to Skating magazine, and as they say, "the rest is history" for since that time John has been writing the "Ask Mr. Edge" column.

Learn more about preventing figure skating injuries by contacting him today at (630) 852-2101 in Downers Grove, Illinois.


Dr. Robert A. Weil, D.P.M.

Born and raised in New York, Dr. Weil has been practicing podiatry & sports medicine for over 35 years in the Aurora- Naperville, Illinois area. His specialty in sports medicine is orthotic therapy, combined with specific training & strengthening of the feet & ankles.

Over the years, Dr. Weil has been fortunate to have worked with athletes in all sports; including many of the Super Bowl Bears back in the 80's, tennis greats John McEnroe & Tracy Austin, & numerous Chicago Cubs & White Sox players.

Dr. Weil also hosts a weekly radio show called "The Sports Doctor," which can be heard on Previous programs and articles can be accessed through his website: In addition to his weekly radio show, Dr. Weil also writes articles for local newspapers.

Dr. Weil has been "prescribing orthotics for top figure skaters for more than 30 years, consulting with John Harmata on many of them". The central highlight of Dr. Weil’s career came while watching Naperville's hometown figure skater Evan Lysacek win the 2010 Olympic Gold Medal for men's figure skating. Lysacek has been a patient of Dr. Weil since the age of nine and to this day still wears orthotics prescribed by Dr. Weil in his skates.

These high performance youngsters still remain his passion and because they do, Dr. Weil has teamed up with Rick Osbourne; author and creator of “Pull Your Own Weight” to produce and co-host a nationally viewed podcast called “Kids Beating Obesity”.


Gina Pongetti, MPT, MA, CSCS, Art-Certified

A gymnast for fourteen years, and an accomplished triathlete, Gina raced in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, in October 2006. She treats on-site at Ironman events nationwide and is the provider of choice for many of the world’s top Ironman triathletes.

Gina received her bachelor’s degree in communication studies and her master’s in physical therapy from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she served for more than eight years on the USA Gymnastics National Health Care Referral Network, providing medical care at meets and lecturing. Currently, Gina takes care of many of our nation’s top gymnasts, including national and world team members, Olympians, and Pan American champions.

Before starting her PT career, Gina obtained a Masters in Health Communication from Michigan State University in order to broaden her education and knowledge of health care campaigns, patient-practitioner interaction, and the art of “marketing” health to her patients. While at MSU, she served as an assistant women’s gymnastics coach.

Throughout school and afterward, Gina focused on all levels of athletes, and became nationally and internationally recognized as a leading lecturer, educator, and researcher. She has presented more than one hundred lectures for coaches, parents, gyms, and athletes on various aspects of health care. She has been published in Technique Magazine for gymnastics professionals and coaches nationwide, and is a medical editor for Inside Publications, whose disciplines include gymnastics, cheerleading, and volleyball. She also writes for Irish Dancing and Culture Magazine, and is a medical blogger/contributor for adolescent, adult, and women’s health through “Shannon Miller Lifestyle” online.

Gina also has co-written the only American Physical Therapy Association- (APTA) approved manual and course on performing arts medicine, which is recognized worldwide. Her performing arts medicine specialization includes on-site treatment Broadway touring theater musicals and local productions. Analysis, assessment, treatment, injury prevention, program creation, and tour-health longevity are focuses of her time with the performers. Gina has been privileged to work with such shows as Mary Poppins’ National Tour, Jersey Boys Chicago, A Chorus Line: National Tour, Fiddler on the Roof: National Tour, Memphis, Shrek: National Tour, the Billy Elliott National Touring Company, and The Book of Mormon.

Gina focuses on manual therapy/hands-on techniques in combination with in-depth analysis of biomechanics and movement patterns. She is fully certified and serves as an instructor with Colorado-based Active Release Techniques, the leading elite technique for soft tissue-based and overuse injuries. Gina is currently focused on both treatment and education.

In 2007, Gina started her own business, MedGym, LLC, and has expanded it via websites, blogs, publications, and educational seminars. Locally, she provides physical therapy and movement analysis, strength-program creation, flexibility assessment, and sport-specific biomechanics education. Gina works with many local figure skating and cheerleading clubs, dance studios, gymnastics gyms, and musicians, as well as endurance sports clubs and more, while providing PT services in the Chicagoland suburbs with Achieve Orthopedic Rehab Institute.

Press Release

For Immediate Release

John Harmata Inducted into Worldwide Who's Who

Changing the Way the World Skates, One Skater at a Time

NAPERVILLE, IL, June 10, John Harmata, a.k.a. Mr. Edge, President of Arena Sports & Consulting Services, Inc. dba: Geppetto's Skate Shop has been recognized by Worldwide Who's Who for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in servicing Olympic figure skating hopefuls.
Mr. Harmata has 35 years of experience and over those years he has become an expert in the fitting of skating boots and at solving the many problems competitive skaters encounter throughout their skating career. In the course of his duties, he is responsible for overseeing daily business operations, product development, individual analysis and assessment of skaters' needs. Since 2000 Mr. Harmata has been a featured columnist for U.S. Figure Skatings', Skating magazine. He works hard to ensure that customers are completely satisfied with his services.

Mr. Harmata's new book, Anatomy of a Figure Skating Injury (July 2013) is a new resource guide with information addressing the vital need for education, injury prevention, and performance enhancement. Written primarily for podiatrists, physical therapists, and figure skating coaches, this book is a must-read for parents also, before enrolling themselves or a child in figure skating classes.

Anatomy of a Figure Skating Injury explains why figure skaters still experience the same injuries today as skaters did decades ago. It addresses problems involving foot mechanics, and explains in detail the overall relationship between proper boot fit, blade mounting and sharpening. Mr. Harmata attributes his success to his prior medical training, good business ethics, and lifelong relationships with fellow industry professionals. Mr. Harmata received a degree in X-ray technology from the College of DuPage. In his spare time, he enjoys visiting wineries and coaching young entrepreneurs to achieve success.

Geppetto's Skate Shop is an ice skating retail store that services skater's footwear needs; including ice figure skating boots, blades, and sharpening for both the beginner and serious competitive skater. For more information about Geppetto's Skate Shop, visit: