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Around the world of figure skating - Mar. 17

Dancing on Ice winds down; New Zealander makes history

With their hip show programs, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto have proven to be the best ambassadors out there for the sport of figure skating.
With their hip show programs, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto have proven to be the best ambassadors out there for the sport of figure skating. (Getty Images)

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(03/17/2008) - This week's around the world of figure skating has all the news from the ice, with the latest from Dancing on Ice, plus stories about a new national hero, a Special Olympics star and the future marketing of the sport.

Classic look could help Belbin and Agosto

Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto have never been very fond of classical music. But their free skate this year, set to music by Chopin, is a perfect example of their beautiful skating skills, while also adding an element of maturity that they did not used to have. This classical approach could propel them to their first world title. More >

New Zealander makes history

Allie Rout, a 14-year-old from New Zealand, made national history when she qualified for the free skate at the 2008 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships. No New Zealander had ever made it that far at the world juniors. But the youngster doesn't want to stop there.

"Vancouver 2010, that's my goal. I really hope I can get into the Olympics by then." More >

Who says figure skaters aren't tough?

The injured right ankle of Suzanne Shaw has been one of the biggest stories of this season's Dancing on Ice. She is now recovered and ready for the season finale. More >

Fountain downplays his ice hockey background

One of Shaw's rivals on Dancing on Ice, Chris Fountain, has been trying to shed the "favorite" tag all season. The Hollyoaks actor has repeatedly said that his ice hockey background did not give him an advantage heading into the show. Instead, Fountain says he was never afraid of falling all over the place, because that's not his nature, "I throw myself into anything." More >

International figure skating is no reality show

With the smashing success of Dancing on Ice, one British writer had to investigate if the real world of figure skating was as fun as the show. She found out that the competitive skating was no picnic.

British junior national pairs champion Penny Coomes was not even impressed with Suzanne Shaw's skating through pain. Coomes herself lives by the rule that "if I'm not unconscious, I skate." More >

Special Olympic star returns home a champion

Kyle Mayhew returned home golden to Queenswood Heights, Ontario. The figure skater won the title at the Special Olympics National Winter Games and kept alive his shot at appearing in the Special Olympics World Winter Games next year in Idaho. More >

Small college skating

Sarah Parrish, a former member of the famed Haydenettes, realized she couldn't give up her love of skating when she got to college. Instead, she found fellow skaters in the Colby Skating Club and even went to the U.S. Synchronized Team Skating Championships a couple times. She is certainly one skater who would not give up the sport without a fight. More >

Russia's beast on ice

Russia's Andrey Chuvilyaev, the world's tallest professional figure skater, joined the cast of The Russian Ice Stars Beauty and the Beast on Ice. At over six feet, six inches, Chuvilyaev, a member of the 2006 Russian Olympic team, dazzles crowds with brilliant lifts throughout the performance. More >

The marketing of figure skating

Belbin and Agosto, the most tenured of America's current figure skating elite, believe the sport still has a lot of potential. They want to try to make sure it keeps getting to their fan base. According to Belbin, "People still love skating; it's just a matter of how we're packaging it and how we're selling it."

For their part, the duo that trains in Canton, Mich., does its best to reach out to the younger generation of fans, even skating to a Justin Timberlake medley during one of its show programs. More >