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Looking forward to a special Skate America
November 9, 2016 - Christie Sausa
I’ll never forget my first Skate America. Volunteering at the 2006 Skate America in Harford, Connecticut was a highlight in my skating life, and exposed me to the behind-the-scenes world of elite competitive figure skating.
Of course, I’d been around elite skaters before. Living in Lake Placid, I helped the Stars on Ice production assistant, (my mother) for several years and also started interviewing skaters around that time for the school newspaper, and later, for the Lake Placid News. So I wasn’t (too) starstruck. But I was excited to see top-level athletes competing in one of the Grand Prix series, which up until that point I had only viewed on television. I was fortunate to serve as a volunteer, laminating passes for VIPs, taking meal vouchers from skaters when they arrived at the dining room for mealtimes, and checking media passes in the backstage area before skaters stepped onto the ice (apparently, I was on ESPN for all of two seconds when I was standing at my post and the skaters walked through to the rink entrance).
I was fortunate because this volunteerism allowed me to watch all the events, and learn more about what goes into making a large event like this successful.
In 2009, Lake Placid hosted Skate America, and I was proud to represent the Lake Placid News in the coverage of the event. Three out of the four winners of the event, (Evan Lysacek, Yuna Kim, and Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao) went on to win gold in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. This is an important event not only for the skaters, but also for fans of the sport, to witness performance trends and perhaps anticipate who will has the best chance to represent the USA in the Olympics and Worlds.
While not a qualifier, these Grand Prix events are important parts of a skater’s season; and with Skate America coming back to Lake Placid in 2017, (next November), in an Olympic season, it will certainly be interesting to see the skater’s performances. I look forward to writing for the Lake Placid News again to document and report upon this amazing event, and encourage all my skating friends to make the pilgrimage to Lake Placid if they can; it will certainly be worth it! ??For more information on Skate America in Lake Placid, including how to purchase tickets, visit their website at www.2017skateamerica.com.
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Yuna Kim performs in the exhibition skate at the 2009 Skate America.