The 2011 US Figure Skating Championship

The Greensboro Coliseum is the home to this year’s figure skating national championship competitions. And it’s a short 40 minute drive from our house, so we couldn’t miss it! They will do it over the course of about 20 sessions between Jan 25-30. And since Princess Gail has the hots for Evan Lysacek, we decided to buy tickets for the men’s short program. We were later disappointed to learn that he would not be competing this year. He’ll do a celebrity skate at the Sunday night Skating Spectacular. Missed him by “that much!” But we did have a ball! It is always fun to watch sporting events at this level. There’s excitement in the air. There are TV cameras and commentators. You might spot the occasional celebrity. And more than anything, you get to see athletes doing stuff I can only dream about doing.

We were seated right across from the NBC commentator platform. It was fun to see Scott Hamilton again.  Who doesn’t love Scott Hamilton!?  Here he is yucking it up with fellow sportscaster Sandra Bezic, while old Tom Hammond sits it out. Scott is from Bowling Green, Ohio, which is basically a suburb of Toledo, where I lived most of my life. So we take ownership of Scott. LOL

During “halftime,” just before the ice got zambonied, they did a tribute to the 1961 US skating team who were all tragically killed in a plane accident on their way to the World Championship that year. I don’t know if I ever knew that. If I did, the memory is poof! Gone! But I will never forget Peggy Fleming!! She gave the little tribute. I was 13 years old when she won her Olympic gold medal in 1968. By virtue of raging teenage hormones, her beauty and grace is forever etched in my hippocampus! Over the years, she has proven herself to be a true lady. Today at 62, she is no less beautiful in my mind. It was a special treat to see her!

We saw about 20 skaters do their short program. It was really fun! Though they were all amazing, the top two stood head and shoulders above the crowd. They were Ryan Bradley and Jeremy Abbott. It will be fun to see if either of them win the whole thing on Sunday. Here is a pic of Ryan, doing a very entertaining and enthusiastic routine to the tune “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B.” He was all smiles throughout his fun skate, and he got a well-deserved standing ovation.All in all, it was a great date with Princess Gail and a great night of skating! 🙂