Sports Traveler is now offering our clients travel package tours and event tickets to the most exciting Figure Skating Events on the planet including the US Nationals and World Championships. I'm so happy to finally be able to bring these travel options to our clients.
I am a former competitive figure skater and coach and still am an avid fan. I skated for nearly 25 years training all over the USA first as a singles skater in figures (back in the day) and freestyle and later in ice dancing. I can tell you that watching ice skating on TV is fun, but nothing compares to being at the event and taking in the practice sessions leading up to the competitions.
When I was at the US Nationals in 2006, in St. Louis, it was also the competition that determined the US Olympic Team. Watching the Mens and Ladies Final Free Programs was some of the best skating I've ever seen of our US skaters. Sasha Cohen hung in through a dramatic free skate with Kimmie Meissner getting to the last double axel and falling to determine the final results.
For the Mens competition, Michael Weiss barely missed the team and ended up 4th but my memory of that competition will forever be watching the last competition of Tim Goebel. I grew up skating with Tim here in Chicago and it was sad to see him not make the 2006 Olympic Team.
For the US Nationals in Cleveland, the ladies field is going to be tight. There are so many young skaters, all performing unbelievable triple-triple jump combinations. Of the top 3 placing skaters, only 1 was old enough to compete at the Worlds. US Figure Skating had to dig into the rest of the field for skaters that were old enough to skate at Worlds and we were shut out of the medals. My pick this year is Caroline Zhang (4th in 2008) to win it all. But I see Rachael Flatt and last years champion Mirai Nagasu right in there. My sentimental pick to place in the top 3 is still Kimmie Meissner.
What will happen with the never ending Johnny Weir vs. Evan Lysacek rivalry? I still favor Evan, another Chicago area local. With less than 2 years to go everyone is going to be trying to be on the podium this season.
The event to be at will the 2009 Worlds in Los Angeles. How rare is it that the US gets a World Championships and in such a great travel location. I can hardly wait for March!