Category Archives: FIgure Skating

Atlantic City Ice Skating Show

Yesterday we spent a pleasant afternoon and evening in Atlantic City. First we did some Christmas shopping at The Walk outlets and The Pier (didn’t find much, though), had a great dinner at Buddhakan in The Pier, and then attended this ice skating show at Boardwalk Hall. It featured all female skaters in tribute to Peggy Fleming, the second such show put on by Caesar’s Palace Casino and NBC Sports, and it will be televised on New Year’s Day.

The skaters were great, and it was a wide range of talent from around the world and many different eras: Elizabeth Manley to Nancy Kerrigan to Tara Lipinski to Miki Ando, and many more. Unfortunately the low lighting and limits of my camera resulted in merely intriguing blurs at best, like this one. Not even sure which skater this is!

We had good seats on the ice, a few rows behind one of the TV cameras. As in last year’s show, which we also saw, they redid some of the jumps and other bits after the show for the broadcast, to get everyone looking their best. It was a fun evening, and well worth the trip.

Watching RISE

Ellen wanted to see this film, shown in selected theaters around the country one time only this past Thursday evening. The format and venues are similar to the opera broadcasts from New York seen in the same theaters, and it began and ended with a live broadcast from New York hosted by skating commentator Peter Carruthers, and NBC’s Matt Lauer, among others. Between was the approximately one hour documentary film about the 1961 tragic air crash that took the lives of the entire US figure skating team on the way to the world competition for that year, along with the top coaches of the time, and many family members.

This is a story that has been covered briefly many times in figure skating broadcasts, so I was aware of it in general, but the documentary does a great job of bringing the people involved to life through period footage, remembrances of survivors and family members, and commentary from contemporary and current figure skating champions, including Peggy Fleming, Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano and Evan Lysacek. Very well done, and well worth seeing.

The entire experience was interesting, and the live broadcast generally entertaining, though not a lot was said about the tragedy that wasn’t already in the film. The skating champs did talk about their own lives and families some, which was interesting. I’m guessing this venue was chosen for the film because it isn’t long enough for a theatrical release (and perhaps didn’t have a distribution deal), and the filmmakers couldn’t find a home for it on TV. Sales at theaters around the country must have been good enough, because a second showing has been scheduled for March 7th. Check theaters near you or online for tickets. Recommended if you’re a skating fan, or know one.

Golden Age of Figure Skating Show

Last night we attended a wonderful figure skating show at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, featuring a large cast of American skating champions from the past 60 years, many not seen in shows for decades. We had a terrific time, even with not great seats — our view is above. We’d brought our binoculars, so that helped us enjoy the performances. This show was being taped for TV broadcast on Christmas Day, so in addition to skaters on the ice, there were some who spoke from or were interviewed on the stage by Mary Carillo and others, and during the intermission two original members of the band America played a medley of their hits.

Due to poor lighting and our distance from the ice, most of my shots of the skaters came out like this one of Calla Urbanski and Rocky Marval, a favorite of Ellen, who took a few skating lessons from Calla. Like most of the performers, they were great, doing many of the dangerous tricks that made them famous quite a few years ago.

After the main performance, some skaters came back to the ice to redo jumps that hadn’t gone so well, to be edited into the final tape. We were then able to sit much closer, as many people didn’t stay, and I got a few more in-focus shots, like these of Sasha Cohen…

…Kimmie Meisner…

…and Nancy Kerrigan and Paul Wylie about to do a great pairs routine. The roster of skaters was impressive, and many wowed us, including Brian Boitano, Tara Lipinski, Evan Lysacek, Todd Eldridge and Sarah Hughes, in addition to those shown above. Old-timers Richard Dwyer and Tenley Albright showed that they could still be graceful on the ice, while some stars like Kristi Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton, Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill and Dick Button spoke but did not skate. We enjoyed seeing them all anyway. It was a fine show, and we’re looking forward to watching it again when it’s broadcast.

2010lympics 2nd week thoughts

Vancouver Olympics Figure Skating

I’ve been watching Winter Olympics for decades, and I can’t recall a more enjoyable one overall, despite uncooperative weather in Vancouver. Ellen and I had talked about trying to go to the games ourselves, and ended up happy we were able to see it in the comfort of our living room instead. The figure skating was great TV throughout. We applauded the wonderful performances of Virtue and Moir of Canada and Davis and White of the U.S., gold and silver medalists. We also thought Belbin and Agosto were great, and deserved the bronze, but their time seems to have passed, at least in the judges’ eyes. At least there were no judging scandals at the ice dancing this year.


Yu-Na Kim rose to the Olympic potential we saw in her over the past year, and surpassed it, setting new scoring records and taking the gold easily in the women’s event. She was spectacular. Someday commentators will be talking about the “Kim” era with reverence, she’s that good. Mao Asada’s performance would have won gold in any other year, and Joannie Rochette showed amazing heart and courage to do so well just after the sudden death of her mother.

All the events we watched were entertaining and exciting. I loved the one with four snowboarders going over a tricky, hilly course at the same time, and the skiing was exciting, too. Oh yes, and there was apparently a classic hockey final which we didn’t watch. Even the final event, the 50K cross-country skiing marathon was pretty exciting.

The closing ceremonies, which we finally saw the last of this evening, were pretty corny, but occasionally funny and moving. Now the world moves on, and so to all those atheletes, some hoping to cash in on their new fame. I was startled to read in yesterday’s paper that Evan Lysacek will be on Dancing With the Stars starting in a few weeks. Well, knowing Ellen, we’ll be watching it, then. We saw Kristy Yamaguchi’s season on the show, and it was entertaining, though I prefer to see them on skates…

2010lympics week 1 thoughts


Back in November at Skate America in Lake Placid, I said: The returning Shen and Zhao were clearly the best, showing they still have what it takes to win.


I also said: I think Lysacek has a good chance to reach the medals at the Olympics next year.

Can I call ’em, or what? Okay, so lots of other people were saying those things, too, but Ellen and I have enjoyed every moment of the Olympic figure skating shown so far, and feel happy and gratified that these athletes made it through to win gold. We’ve been following all three for many years, and are particularly happy for Evan. We watched him struggle against Johnny Weir for years, then beat him, but at the last Olympics he was too ill to perform well, and this year he proved he has what it takes to be a champion. We always thought he did.

The rest of the Olympic sports have been fun to watch, too. My news blackout plan worked fine all week except for one slip this afternoon when I had to visit the U.S. Olympics website for some info, and got a litte more than I wanted. It seems like there are more crashes than usual this year, though, which makes watching some sports like downhill skiing and bobsled nerve-wracking. I guess the antidote for that would be curling, but it’s on during the day, and while I’ve put it on once or twice, I don’t have time to really watch.

In all it’s been great entertainment, and we’re looking forward to the final week.