U.S. ADULT FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS HEAD TO BENSENVILLE, ILL., APRIL 11-14
Colorado Springs, Colo. (April 10, 2007) – The 13th U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships kick off Wednesday, April 11, in Bensenville, Ill. Held annually since 1995, the U.S. Adult Championships are the most prestigious adult figure skating event in the United States. Sanctioned by U.S. Figure Skating, this year’s event is hosted by the Skating Council of Illinois and will be held at Edge Ice Arenas, 15 miles northwest of Chicago.
The U.S. Adult Championships debuted in 1995 to offer an opportunity for all ages and levels of skaters to compete at the highest level among their peers. The organizers of the 1995 event in Wilmington, Del., expected 100 competitors, but 421 signed up and competed in 626 starts (competitors often take part in more than one event). This year more than 550 athletes are set to compete in approximately 800 starts.
The prestigious championship masters and championship gold events are the highlight of the week. Skaters in these events qualify for the U.S. Adult Championships by placing in the top four at their respective sectional championships.
At the 2006 event in Dallas, Texas, Natalie Shaby (All Year FSC) won the championship masters ladies event at age 42 in her first year competing at the event. She landed five double jumps, including a double Axel, to narrowly beat out silver medalist Alexandra Dunne-Bryant (Chiller FSC), who was 24 at the time and landed six double jumps. Shaby coaches in the Los Angeles area and attends the University of California, Los Angeles, where she studies environmental issues.
In championship masters men, 25-year-old Brooks Jones (DuPage FSC) captured the gold after landing nine double jumps. He is a chemistry graduate student at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. In second place at the event was 40-year-old Joseph Radomile (St. Moritz ISC), who won the event in 2005. These top two ladies and men will be back to contend for the titles this week in Bensenville. Overall, athletes will compete in approximately 90 different events.
Competitors range in age from 21 to those in their 60s and 70s. Nearly all of them hold full-time jobs; some skated as children, but many are competing for the first time.
– U.S. Figure Skating –
U.S. Figure Skating is the national governing body for the sport of figure skating in the United States as recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Skating Union. U.S. Figure Skating is comprised of approximately 1,450 member clubs and Basic Skills programs representing nearly 200,000 members. U.S. Figure Skating is charged with the development of the sport on all levels within the United States, including athletes, officials, sanctioning of events and exhibitions, and establishing the rules and guidelines by which the sport is governed.
Picture by Alex Broadway/SWpix.com