Posts Tagged ‘Figure Skating’

Friday, August 5, 2011

Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships

The prestigious Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships has long been considered an important pre-season competition for high-level competitive ice dancers. Well known National and Olympic contenders such as Natalie Buck and Trent-Nelson Bond (Australia), Meryl Davis and Charlie White (USA), and Vanessa Crone and Paul Poirier (Canada) have competed at the championships over the years.

Ice Dancing is a discipline of skating that resembles ballroom dancing on ice. Unlike it’s more acrobatic and singles-skating based cousin pairs skating, ice dance requires the participants to interpret different rhythms and styles of dance, all while executing difficult lifts, spins, and footwork sequences.

Starting in 2002, all the disciplines of skating became more difficult and technical; the International Judging System debuted after the pairs judging scandal in the 2002 Olympics. The International Skating Union decided that the figure skating judging system needed an update; what resulted was a more complex, point-based system. Each element has a set point value, and can gain “upgrades” depending on how well or how poorly the element was executed. The entire judging system is difficult to fully explain, but the result is that figure skating has been propelled into a new age of increased technicality. Ice Dancing was no exception.

New to Ice Dance this year was the addition of a short dance. Previously, ice-dancing competition consisted of three segments: a compulsory dance, an original dance, and a free dance.

The Compulsory dance was the most technical part of competition. Couples skated a set pattern of steps to a set rhythm of music. The skaters were judged on how well they executed the timing, character, and steps of the dance. Compulsories were considered in much the same way the now-extinct figures were; an important technical training tool that helped ice dancers with technique and basic skills of dance.

The Original Dance was a segment in which couples were given a specific rhythm (or set of rhythms) and theme to interpret each season. For example, one season it might be a Waltz; the next it could be a Tango. Skaters were given the freedom to choose their own music within the rhythm and their own choreography. However, there were more rules to adhere to, and close skating and partnering positions were important.

Finally, the Free Dance allows the most creativity of the skaters. They are allowed to choose their own music, choreography, and program themes. Although the skaters have been required to insert certain elements in the free dance since 1998, (step sequences, dance spins, lifts, and spin-like turns called twizzles), they are still allowed a certain degree of freedom. Some skaters aim for more traditional free dances (waltzes, tangoes, etc) while others push the envelope and incorporate such themes as “Star Trek” and “Riverdance” into the segment.

Incorporated after the 2009-2010 season, the short dance aims to combine elements of the compulsory dance and original dance into one segment. Other figure skating disciplines only have two segments, which was one of the considerations put forth to the ISU, and led them to eliminate the compulsory and original dance from competition and insert the short dance instead.

The short dance requires couples to adhere to a pattern (like the compulsory dance) but they must skate to a designated rhythm and perform specific elements.

This year marked the first time the Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships include the short dance in competition; the Championships draw International and National skaters.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Off-Season Workouts of Winter Sports Athletes

As a winter athlete, it is inevitable that even in a town like Lake Placid, which is known for its accessibility to winter sports, there will be an off season. Athletes in all winter sports have an “in season”, where they are competing and training, and an “off season”, when there is less availability to the medium of their sport (snow, ice) and they must train differently.

Athletes approach training differently; however, there are certain methods of off season training which are uniform. Different sports emphasize different qualities; speed, agility, flexibility, or power. Some need more of one quality than others; for example, figure skaters require more flexibility than a speed skater or hockey player, while the focus in the latter sports is on speed and power. Therefore, the training varies from sport to sport.

Figure skaters don’t tend to have a break from skating; most train all year round. What differs is the intensity of training. The off season for skaters is often from late spring until early fall, and this time period is spent developing new programs, building up strength and agility, and using other sports to train for the in-season. Many skaters practice dance, weight-lifting, cardio, stretching, and yoga in both on and off season, but the off season is a good time to practice more extracurricular activities. Figure skaters need agility but also flexibility; as such, their training program emphasizes those qualities. While most lift weights, they also practice plyometrics (which develops quickness and agility) and off ice jumps. Stretching is also an important part of their training routine. It is important to note that many skaters do not run or participate too much in activities that pound on their knees, as they already take a beating in figure skating training. Check out this link for more information about off ice training for figure skating.

Speed skaters require totally different training. The emphasis in the off season is on building strength for the upcoming season. Many don’t realize that speed skaters make their greatest strides from off season training, which incorporates “dryland” training, weight-lifting, and cardio. It is common for a speed skater to practice “low walks”, which is walking with the knees bent at a 90 degree angle to simulate the position achieved in speed skating. Watch this video of Sven Kramer, one of theWorld’s best long track speed skaters training in the off-season. For a glimpse of what it takes to train as an Olympic speed skater during the season, watch Apolo Ohno work out in this video.

Hockey requires speed, power, and agility. The training program off-season reflects this, and many hockey players spend their off-season lifting weights, working on cardiovascular fitness and agility. On ice and off ice training is year round, and the player’s training routine depends on what position they play.

Skiing has a few different sub-sports: alpine, freestyle, Nordic, and ski jumping. All have different emphasis and are very different in not only activity, but how training is approached. Ski jumping, the exciting sport in which the ski jumper flies down the ski jump, launches themselves in the air, and lands, requires precision and control. Explosive power is needed for the takeoff, and the legs must be able to support the force of landing. As such, ski jumpers practice plyometrics, lunges, squats, and stair running workouts.

Athletes who compete in alpine skiing usually train on the snow, but when that isn’t available, train dry land. This can take several forms, including sprints, plyometrics, and weights, all tailored to the common movements in alpine skiing.

Freestyle skiing combines several types of skills and a few types of skiing; aerial, moguls, and ski-cross. Aerials combine skiing and acrobatics, so athletes need to be coordinated and agile. Moguls, where the skier maneuvers around mounds of snow with tight turns, requires quickness and agility. Ski-cross is a discipline in which the skiers take off en-masse and navigate a course. They need to be technically proficient, quick off the start line, and able to maneuver around each other and terrain. Athletes can train with several aids such as trampolines, cross country simulation machines, and in Lake Placid, a pool for athletes to practice aerials into during the summer months. Other than that, skiiers train various ways including cycling, weight lifting, roller-skiing (like cross country skis, except with wheels) and plyometrics.

Nordic skiing athletes are more endurance based skiers whose sport consists of skiing various distances. Their training is similar to the other skiers but with more emphasis on endurance. They might also row, cycle, or in-line in the off season.

Biathlon is a sport which combines cross country skiing with target shooting. Biathlon athletes must combine the endurance and fast paced nature of cross country ski racing with the focused accuracy of target shooting. Arguably the most difficult part of biathlon is calming the mind and body after cross country racing to shoot the target. Racers practice the same type of training as cross country skiers, but also have to practice incredible mental focus.

Luge, the sport requiring athletes to slide down a track on a sled, requires a lot of upper body strength. The takeoff for the luge track is started by using the upper body to gain momentum while on the sled. Therefore, the off ice training often focuses on upper body strength. Mental fitness is also very important.

The sliding sports of skeleton and bobsled share similar components; both require the athlete to get a running start on the track before boarding the sled and navigating the track. The sports have a quick agile component as well as precision in steering the sled. Athletes competing in these sports typically train all year round, even without the benefit of ice on the track. Training methods include sprint workouts, cardio, plyometrics and weight lifting.

For more information on winter Olympic athletes, check out teamusa.org


Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Brief History of Figure Skating in Lake Placid

Since the 1920s, the Skating Club of Lake Placid has been an integral part of Lake Placid’s skating culture. The first formal group skating in Lake Placid were the “Sno-Birds”, sponsored by the Lake Placid Club. They organized their own competitions and were the group in charge of assembling the U.S. and Canadian Skating Associations in 1921. The United States Figure Skating Association was formed at this meeting; making the Sno Birds very important in not only Lake Placid’s skating history, but the country’s skating history as well.

According the Skating Club of Lake Placid historian Barbara Kelly, figure skating in Lake Placid really started to develop in the 1930s. The Sno Birds hosted their first indoor competition in 1932 in the new Olympic Arena. This was also when the skating club, then called the “Adirondack Skating Club”, was formed after the Olympics. The board of directors were influential local people, among them the manager of the Olympic Arena Jack Garren and Chairman of the North Elba Park Commission Rollie J. Kennedy. In 1937 the name was changed to the “Skating Club of Lake Placid”.

The “Golden Age” of skating continued through the 40s, when skaters flocked to Lake Placid to train in the summers with the best coaches in the world. This provided them the opportunity to skate in the two spectacular summer ice shows, some of the most elaborate shows in the country. At this time, well-known skaters such as Dick Button trained with equally famous coaches like Gus Lussi.

Through the 50s , 60s, and 70s, the figure skating program continued to attract talented and well known skaters. Some notables included Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, Ronnie Robertson, Tab Hunter, and Evelyn Mueller Kramer. Fleming and Hamill were the 1968 and 1976 Olympic Gold Medalists in Ladies Figure Skating, respectively. Ronnie Robertson was the 1956 Olympic Silver Medalist in Men’s Figure Skating, and was best known for his amazing spinning ability. Coached by Gus Lussi, Robertson’s incredibly fast spins were tested by the American Space Program to determine how to achieve balance in a weightless environment; they were baffled by his lack of dizziness after spinning. Tab Hunter was a movie star and recording artist best known for his good looks and roles in movies such as “Damn Yankees”. Hunter was a figure skater as a teenager, competing in both singles and pairs; he was another of Gus Lussi’s famous students. Evelyn Mueller Kramer trained alongside Ronnie Robertson and Tab Hunter, and is currently a well-known skating coach.

In 1979 the first Skate America competition, now a part of the annual Grand Prix series, was held in Lake Placid. It was considered a “test event” for the 1980 Olympics, and was obviously a success, since the competition was also there in 1981 (the competition was not held in 1980). Since then, Lake Placid has continued to host several important figure skating events. Most recently Lake Placid hosted the 2011 Eastern Synchronized Skating Championships, which determined the synchronized skating teams that qualified for Nationals. Previously, Skate America returned in 2009, along with Regional and Sectional Qualifiers, the annual Lake Placid Free Skating Championships and Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships.
Ice shows such as Smuckers Stars on Ice and Disney on Ice return annually and
biannually respectively.

Summer skating continues every year, bringing skaters from all over the world to train with a variety of coaches. Celebrity skaters train here as well; the most well known are Oleg and Ludmila Protopopov, 1964 and 1968 Olympic Gold Medalists in Pairs Skating. Part time residents of Lake Placid, they train here every summer and can often be spotted practicing on one of the rinks (see photo above).

The Saturday Night Ice Shows have also continued. Skaters taking part in the summer skating camp have the opportunity to skate alongside “guest” skaters who are National and World caliber. The shows are weekly instead of just twice in the summer, allowing for more skaters and more memorable performances under the spotlights in the 1932 Arena. Notable guest skaters have included Johnny Weir, Ryan Bradley, Kimmie Meissner, and Rachel Flatt, as well as many others.

For more information on the figure skating program, visit the Lake Placid Skating site. For more information on the Skating Club of Lake Placid, visit their website.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Disney on Ice in Lake Placid This Weekend

Disney on Ice skated into Lake Placid this week for their new show, Disney on Ice presents Princess Classics. The tour returns to Lake Placid every two years with a new show and new cast members. This year’s show brings the stories of the Disney Princesses to life on ice!

Unlike many ice shows, Disney on Ice showcases elaborate sets, costumes, and special effects to arenas across the country and world. The centerpiece of the production will be a three dimensional, three story castle which transforms to assist in telling the stories of the Disney Princesses. The show will feature Cinderella, Jasmine, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Mulan, Snow White and special guest Tinker Bell.

Disney on Ice presents Princess Classics will open in Lake Placid’s Olympic Center tonight, Thursday, February 17th at 7 pm and continues through Monday. More information can be found online.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Synchronized Skaters Perform in Lake Placid

Despite a snowstorm, approximately 2,300 figure skaters, along with their coaches, parents, and friends, poured into Lake Placid for the 2011 Eastern Synchronized Figure Skating Championships. A qualifier for the National Championship, skaters from as far north as Maine and far south as North Carolina competed in the Olympic Center February 3rd through 5th.

Changes to the schedule were made due to the storm; Thursday night the competition lasted until early Friday morning (around 1 am).

In the Senior Championships, the well-known Haydenettes team based in Lexington Massachusetts placed first. They are the reigning National Champions. For more information about the Eastern Synchronized Figure Skating Championships, visit usfigureskating.org.


Monday, January 31, 2011

Lake Placid Skating, Skiing Events

More skiing and skating will return to Lake Placid next weekend.The 29th Annual Lake Placid Loppet, a series of Cross Country Ski races, will be held on February 5th. Hosted by High Peaks Cyclery, this event draws hundreds of skaters from across the US and Canada and consists of a 50 kilometer Loppet (30.1 miles) and a 25-kilometer Kort-Loppet (about 15 miles). More information can be found online.

Also coming to Lake Placid on the same weekend, the Eastern Synchronized Championships will be in town February 3nd through 5th. More than 2,300 skaters from 150 teams from throughout the eastern United States will be competing. The top four finishers in the senior, junior, novice, intermediate, juvenile, collegiate, adult and masters divisions will move on to the 2011 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships, March 2-5, in Ontario, Calif. The event is organized by the Olympic Regional Development Authority and the Skating Club of Lake Placid. For more information, visit http://www.lakeplacidskating.com/newsite.

Christie Sausa writes about national and international winter sports and blogs at Lake Placid Skater.

 


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Synchronized Skating Returns to Lake Placid

More than 2,300 skaters from 150 teams throughout the eastern United States will compete at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid during the 2011 Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships, Feb. 3-5.

The event, which was last held in Lake Placid in 1998, is a qualifier to the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships. The top four finishers in the senior, junior, novice, intermediate, juvenile, collegiate, adult and masters divisions will move on to the 2011 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships, March 2-5, in Ontario, California.

Organized by the Olympic Regional Development Authority with the Skating Club of Lake Placid, and sanctioned by U.S. Figure Skating, the event will feature teams from as far south as North Carolina to as far north as Maine.

Synchronized skating is the fastest growing discipline of figure skating. Teams consist of eight to 20 athletes, each moving as one flowing unit. Each team performs a free skating program made up of required formations and footwork sequences with emphasis on precise movements, unison of team members and creativity. Junior and senior level teams will also perform a short program.

Tickets for the 2011 Eastern Synchronized Team Skating Sectional Championships are $15 per day for adults and $12 for juniors and seniors. Teams to watch include world silver medalists, the Haydenettes (senior); world junior team alternates, the Lexettes (junior); national champions, Ice Mates (novice); national bronze medalists, the University of Delaware (collegiate) and national champions, Esprit de Corps (adult).

More information can be found online.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Stars on Ice Celebrates 25th Anniversary

A long standing Lake Placid tradition, Stars on Ice debuted the first show of their 25th Anniversary tour on Saturday. Headlined by 2010 Men’s Olympic Gold medalist Evan Lysacek and 2006 Women’s Olympic Silver medalist Sasha Cohen, the theme of the show was remembering past skaters and celebration of current champions.

In addition to Lysacek and Cohen, the show starred well-known skaters like 2006 Ice Dance Olympic Silver medalists Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto, 2002 Olympic Pairs Gold medalists Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, two time Olympic Gold medalist Ekaterina Goordeeva (who competed in pairs with late husband Sergei Grinkov), and four-time World Champion Kurt Browning. Other cast members included 1996 World champion Todd Eldredge, 2010 Women’s Bronze medalist Joannie Rochette, and two time World Bronze medalist Michael Weiss.

Stars on Ice was created in 1986 by Scott Hamilton and his agent when his contract was not renewed for Ice Capades. Since then, the show has become “the world’s premier ice show” and the only current skating show featuring a cast of Olympic and World champions. Past cast members have included Jo Jo Starbuck & Ken Shelley, Brian Orser, Kurt Browning, Paul Wylie, Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean, Kristi Yamaguchi, Ekaterina Gordeeva & Sergei Grinkov, Kyoko Ina and John Zimmerman, Tara Lipinski, Katarina Witt, Ilia Kulik, Jamie Sale & David Pelletier, Elena Berezhnaya & Anton Sikharulidze, Alexei Yagudin, and Sarah Hughes. The show has won four Emmy Awards for Choreography and Costume Design, and won an ACE Cable Award for the Best Sports Special.

The tour will resume on February 18th in San Jose, California; for more information, visit their website at www.starsonice.com.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

2011 North Atlantic Figure Skating Championships

The first week of October figure skaters hoping to qualify for Sectional and National competition arrived in Lake Placid for the first North Atlantic qualifier of the season, the 2011 North Atlantic Regional Figure Skating Championships.

Throughout the United States, regional qualifiers for each region of the country are held, and whoever qualifies can compete at either Junior Nationals (a National event for Juvenile-Intermediate level skaters), or the Sectional Championships, for Novice-Senior competitors. From Sectionals, skaters hope to qualify for the US National Championships, a high profile event that heralds the arrival of new rising stars in figure skating.

Once a skater consistently qualifies for Nationals, he or she often receives international assignments and can qualify for the Olympic Games or the World Championship through the National Championships. Other non-qualifying categories offered at the Regional Championships included Open Juvenile and Pre Juvenile boy’s and girl’s events, allowing skaters to gain experience in regional competition before reaching qualifying levels.

Figure skaters from the Skating Club of Lake Placid and the Saranac Lake Figure Skating Academy competed at the Regional qualifier representing several different levels. Two members of the Skating Club of Lake Placid have qualified out of the regional championship- Luke West, in the Intermediate Men category, and Brandon Amaral in the Juvenile Boys category. Both will be representing the Skating Club at the US Junior National Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah this December. Several other local skaters qualified for the final round in their respective level including Lindsay Yamrick, who placed 1st in the Open Juvenile girls category and Elena Gonzalez Molinos who qualified for the final round in Juvenile girls.

For complete North Atlantic Regional Championships results, visit www.icenetwork.com, and for non-qualifying event results, visit www.lakeplacidskating.com.

Photo: Local skaters who competed at the 2011 North Atlantic Figure Skating Championships (John Eldridge Photo).

Christie Sausa is a figure skater and speed skater writing about winter sports from Lake Placid, NY. Her internationally recognized blog Lake Placid Skater is the leading source of competitive Lake Placid ice skating news and information.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Figure Skating: ISI Lake Placid Championships

This weekend Lake Placid was filled with figure skaters, parents, and coaches for the Ice Skating Institute Lake Placid Championships. This event was hosted in the Olympic Center, and has been an important part of the Lake Placid competition lineup for many years.

The Ice Skating Institute was founded in 1959 as “a nonprofit organization for owners, operators, and developers of ice skating facilities”, and facilitates participattion in ice skating by rink owners, skaters, coaches, and vendors. According to the ISI website, the organization provides information for the development and construction of ice arenas, organizes consumer shows in conjunction with its recreational skating events, and produces trade and educational publications and literature. ISI also holds an annual educational conference and trade show for arenas managers, skating directors, instructors, and skating industry manufacturers, suppliers and retailers, provides ice skating programs for skaters of all ages and abilities, and hosts four recreational skating competitions annually. Most of all, ISI encourages participation in ice skating as a recreational sport.

The ISI organization encourages recreational participation in ice skating instead of qualifying competition like US Figure Skating. This is perfect for skaters who wish to skate and compete for fun instead of to qualify for National and International Competition. ISI also incorporates more unique events like showcase events (in which skaters can use props and vocal music to establish a theme) and group numbers (where many skaters can skate together). Most of all, ISI aims to allow skaters to compete for fun and satisfaction rather than for qualifying spots at the Olympics. Still, many skaters are members of both organizations and compete on both the US Figure Skating and ISI competitive tracks. One of these skaters is local skater Carly Brox.

Originally from Canada, Carly was one of many competitors skating this weekend; she also was the only skater representing Lake Placid in this competition. Carly lives and trains in Lake Placid, and represents the Skating Club of Lake Placid. She placed 1st in compulsory moves, 2nd in stroking, and 2nd in the freestyle program. As Carly stated as she finished this year’s competition; “I was honored to represent Lake Placid in this competition, and I look forward to competing next year”.

For more information on ISI, visit http://www.skateisi.com/site/.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Scott Hamilton Returns To Lake Placid With A New Show

Figure skating icon Scott Hamilton is back, ready to thrill audiences with a new skating show, Scott Hamilton’s Holiday Concert on Ice, coming to the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, N.Y. on Tuesday, Dec. 29, at 7:30 p.m.

For more than 20 years, the Olympic Champion and four-time World and U.S. National Champion wowed audiences with his annual Stars on Ice tour, which kicked off annually in Lake Placid. Several of those performers are set to join the skating legend again including Ekaterina Gordeeva and Steven Cousins. The show will also feature Kimmie Meissner, Jozef Sabovcik and Caryn Kadavy, all skating to music performed by a live band and American Idols Phil Stacey and Melinda Doolittle.

Tickets for the Dec. 29 performance of Scott Hamilton’s Holiday Concert on Ice range in price from $90-$30 and are on sale now at the Olympic Center Box Office 518.523-3330 or online at tickets.com or whitefacelakeplacid.com.

About the Skaters: Together with her late partner and husband, Sergei Grinkov, Ekaterina Gordeeva was the 1988 and 1994 Olympic Champion. She also began touring with Stars on Ice in 1991.

Steven Cousins is an eight-time British National Champion; he competed in eight World Figure Skating Championships and three Olympic Winter Games and toured with Stars on Ice until 2007, while Kimmie Meissner won both the 2007 World Championship crown and the 2007 U.S. National Championship title. Ms. Meissner was also the youngest American athlete to compete in the 2006 Torino, Italy Olympic Winter Games.

Jozef Sabovcik claimed the 1984 Olympic bronze medal and won both the 1985 and 1986 European Championship titles, while Caryn Kadavy, a 1988 Olympian, is a three-time U.S. National Championship medalist.

NOTE: THIS POST COMES DIRECTLY FROM AN ORDA PRESS RELEASE


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Supporting Christie Sausa, Lake Placid Skater

Lake Placid Skater blog author Christie Sausa is looking for our help. Sausa entered a blog contest sponsored by Microsoft Office and the United States Olympic Committee. Two lucky bloggers will win a trip to Vancouver to cover the Olympics on their blog. Last week, Sausa learned that she has been chosen as one of contest’s semi-finalists in the Student Category. The ten semi-finalist were chosen by a panel of celebrity judges, including five-time Olympic gold medalist Bonnie Blair and online video stars Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld from CollegeHumor.com. Now Christie Sausa needs our help – you can vote here.

The next three finalists for each category will be decided by online voting. We can help Sausa by heading over to the contest site and casting your vote for our local favorite. You can vote once per day per email address.


Friday, July 3, 2009

Emily Hughes, Jason Wong Headline Saturday Night Ice Show

The Citizens Bank Summer Skating Series resumes this weekend with Freaky Friday and the Saturday Night Ice Show, presented by North Country Community College, this Friday and Saturday, July 3-4 at the Olympic Center. Olympian Emily Hughes, the younger sister of 2002 Olympic champion Sarah Hughes, placed seventh in Torino during the 2006 Olympic Games. She won the silver medal during the 2007 U.S. National Championships and has skated in many national and international events, including Grand Prix events.

Jason Wong is the 2008 U.S. Collegiate National Champion and recently competed in the 2009 World University Games in China. Wong has won the New England Regionals in the junior, intermediate, novice and senior divisions and also earned the silver medal at the U.S. Junior National Championships in 2004. Wong skates for the Skating Club of Boston.

Joining Hughes and Wong on the famed 1932 Rink Jack Shea Arena ice will be skaters participating in the 77th Annual Miracles of Gold summer skating program. The skaters will perform their individual and group numbers during this entertaining event. Showtime is at 7:30 p.m. Admission to the show is $9 for adults, $7 for juniors and seniors. Children six and under may enter for free.

The ever-popular Freaky Friday show is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. in the 1932 Rink Jack Shea Arena. Students in the Miracle of Gold summer skating program create their own unique routines for this event. The skaters have come up with wonderful costumes and ideas, such as baseball players playing in Fenway Park, girls dressed in Poodle skirts, hula hoops and much more. This free event is a great way to support the figure skaters.

To learn more about the Lake Placid Summer Skating programs visit www.lakeplacidskating.com.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Evan Lysacek, Sasha Cohen to Headline 2009 Skate America

The International Skating Union (ISU) and U.S. Figure Skating have announced the skater selections for the 2009 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, including Skate America. Skate America, which historically is the first competition in the ISU Grand Prix Series, occurs later in the calendar this year, as the fifth of six events. This year’s Skate America will take place Nov. 12-15 at the 1980 Rink Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid. This marks the 30th anniversary of the event and the sixth time the state of New York has hosted the event and the fourth time it has been held in Lake Placid (1979, 1981-82).

Skate America will welcome 18 top U.S. athletes in addition to its international field. The Americans competing in Lake Placid include current World champion and two-time national champion Evan Lysacek and the five-time U.S. Championship ice dancing team of Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, also the 2009 World silver medalists and 2006 Olympic silver medalists. This year’s Skate America marks the return of 2006 U.S. Champion, 2006 Olympic silver medalist, and 2006 World bronze medalist Sasha Cohen to competitive skating.

Other U.S. athletes competing at Skate America are 2008 World Junior Champion Rachael Flatt, Ryan Bradley, Brandon Mroz, two-time defending U.S. Pairs Champions and 2007 World Junior Champions Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker, and the ice dancing teams of Madison Chock and Greg Zuerlein – the 2009 World Junior Champions and U.S. Junior Champions – and Kim Navarro and Brent Bommentre.

The international field is led by World champion Yu-Na Kim of Korea. Kim is the 2008 Skate America ladies gold medalist and 2008 Grand Prix Final champion. Kim will be joined by six-time French ice dancing champions and 2008 World ice dancing champions Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder. Three-time World pairs champions (2002-03, 2007) and two-time Olympic bronze medalists (2002, 06) Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao of China will make their competitive debut this season, following a two year absence. For the complete list of international skaters competing at 2009 Skate America, please visit the ISU web site at www.isu.org.

Tickets to Skate America are on sale now at the Olympic Center Box Office in person or by phone at (518) 523-3330. Tickets may also be purchased online through tickets.com. For a complete schedule of events, ticket prices and more information, please log on to skateamerica2009.com.

The ISU Grand Prix Series consists of the following six events: Trophée Eric Bompard Oct. 15-18 in Paris, France; Rostelecom Cup Oct. 22-25 in Moscow, Russia; Cup of China Oct. 29-Nov. 1 in Beijing; NHK Trophy Nov. 5-8 in Nagano, Japan; Skate America Nov. 12-15 in Lake Placid; and Skate Canada Nov. 19-22 in Kitchener, Ont. This is the 15th season for the series.

At the conclusion of the six events, athletes’ points are totaled, and the top six ladies, men, pairs and ice dancing teams are invited to compete at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final Dec. 3-6 in Tokyo, Japan.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Skate America Competition Announced For Lake Placid

U.S. Figure Skating has announced that Lake Placid will host 2009 Skate America. The international figure skating event is one of six stops on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series. Competition will take place Nov. 12-15, 2009, at the 1980 Rink Herb Brooks Arena. The inaugural Skate America was held in 1979 in Lake Placid and this marks the sixth time the state of New York has hosted the event, and the fourth time it has been held in Lake Placid (1979, ’81, ‘82).

Skate America is an Olympic-style international figure skating event featuring three days of competition in ladies and men’s singles, pairs and ice dancing. The event attracts dozens of world-class figure skaters from all over the globe. Past champions include five-time World and nine-time U.S. champion Michelle Kwan, 2002 Olympic bronze medalist Timothy Goebel, 2002 Olympic pairs champions Jamie Sale and David Pelletier of Canada, 1992 Olympic champion Kristi Yamaguchi and 1984 Olympic champion Scott Hamilton.

Other stops on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series each year include Skate Canada, the Cup of China, Trophée Eric Bompard (France), the Cup of Russia and the NHK Trophy (Japan). The Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final takes place each December and rotates among the countries that host the ISU Grand Prix Series events.

2008 Skate America was held at the Everett Events Center in Everett, Wash., where U.S. skaters won medals in all four disciplines and four of the 12 total medals. Johnny Weir, the 2008 World bronze medalist, won the men’s silver, while reigning U.S. champion Evan Lysacek took the men’s bronze. Reigning U.S. pairs champions Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker garnered the silver in pairs, and five-time U.S. champions Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto won ice dancing silver.

The ISU also recently announced that Lake Placid will host an event in the 2009 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series. The event will be the second of seven in the series and take place Sept. 2-6, 2009.



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