COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 20, 2007) – Cool off in Saint Paul, Minnesota’s Carousel Park with U.S. Figure Skating on “Figure Skating Saturday,’’ a fun-filled day of skating activities Saturday, Aug. 25 from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. at the Minnesota State Fair. The event, which features appearances by two-time Olympic medalist Nancy Kerrigan, 2006 Olympian and 2007 U.S. silver medalist Emily Hughes and 2007 U.S. Junior champion Eliot Halverson of St. Paul, will include the set-up of a plastic ice surface on which local figure skating clubs will perform throughout the day, a celebrity autograph session, face painting, ticket drawings, and appearances by the Saint Paul Winter Carnival Royal Family and U.S. Figure Skating mascot Snowplow Sam.
Additionally, figure skaters of all ages are encouraged to bring a photo of themselves figure skating to post on the Minnesota Figure Skating Photo Wall, which will make its debut at the fair. The wall will make its official home at Xcel Energy Center and photos will continue to be added leading up to the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
The ice skating extravaganza is dedicated to promoting the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, which will be held Jan. 20-27 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. It is also an opportunity to learn more about the sport and the rich history of figure skating in Minnesota. The Saint Paul Winter Carnival’s Royal Family will be on hand to “knight” the celebrity skaters and officially welcome the Championships to St. Paul. The two events will partner in January to celebrate the best of what Minnesota winters have to offer.
The Minnesota State Fair begins Aug. 23 and ends on Labor Day, Sept. 3. Known as the “Great Minnesota Get Together,” the State Fair features a wide array of events, and this year will include concert performances by Def Leppard, Vince Gill and the Goo Goo Dolls, as well as plenty of rides, food and animals. For more information, check online at: http://www.mnstatefair.org.
Nancy Kerrigan, one of America’s most accomplished skaters, captured her first senior-level medal in the 1991 U.S. Figure Skating Championships held in Minneapolis. She won a bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, and two years later overcame her knee injury only to finish a skate’s edge away from capturing the gold medal in the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer. Kerrigan has been inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame and continues to be a tremendous ambassador for the sport.
Emily Hughes competed in the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy, and went on to capture the silver medal at the 2007 U.S. Championships. She came within a point of beating heavy favorite Kimmie Meissner for the U.S. crown. One of the most energetic performers in the sport, Hughes will be a freshman this fall at Harvard University and will continue competitive skating under the guidance of new coach Mark Mitchell. Emily is the younger sister of 2002 Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hughes.
Eliot Halverson, who trains with coaches Ted Engelking and Ann Eidson at Pleasant Arena in St. Paul, has won back-to-back national titles, earning gold at the novice and junior levels in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Halverson is the first men’s skater to accomplish the feat since Evan Lysacek in 1999-2000. He will be making his debut in the senior competition in his hometown in 2008. The city of St. Paul declared April 21, 2007, “Eliot Halverson Day’’ in honor of his already remarkable on-ice achievements.
To learn more about the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, visit www.saintpaul2008.com