Skating luminaries to serve as storytellers in "RISE"
Movie to commemorate 50th anniversary of 1961 World Team tragedy
|From left: Scott Hamilton, Dorothy Hamill, Brian Boitano, Peggy Fleming and Michelle Kwan. (Leslie Barbaro)|
By U.S. Figure Skating
(09/16/2010) - Colorado Springs, Colo. - U.S. Figure Skating announced Thursday that figure skating luminaries Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano and Michelle Kwan will serve as storytellers in the cinematic feature RISE. Premiering Feb. 17, 2011, as part of a one-night-only special event in movie theaters nationwide, RISE will celebrate American figure skating while commemorating the 50th anniversary of 1961 U.S. World Team tragedy. The five legendary skaters, who gathered May 25 and 26 in New York City, will share personal insights and experiences while giving voice to RISE by linking the interwoven stories of some of the biggest names and moments in the history of figure skating to those skaters on the 1961 U.S. World Team who lost their lives in the crash of Sabena Airlines Flight 548 on its way to the World Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia. "We are honored to have these legends of the sport give their time to tell this important story," said David Raith, executive director of U.S. Figure Skating. "There wasn't a moment's hesitation among them when we approached this group about participating in the project. Their willingness to give their time and share their personal insights speaks to the kind of people they are and their desire to help remember those who paved the way for them in the sport of figure skating." RISE, commissioned by U.S. Figure Skating, will also feature 2010 Olympic champion Evan Lysacek and his legendary coach, Frank Carroll, among others, as the centerpiece of the one-night-only Fathom event. The event, which includes a red-carpet extravaganza, uniquely choreographed figure skating performances, interviews with American figure skating legends and the premiere of RISE, will be presented live across NCM Fathom's exclusive Digital Broadcast Network (DBN) in more than 500 movie theaters nationwide. Produced and directed by 16-time Emmy Award winners Lookalike Productions, RISE will take audiences on a powerful and uplifting journey through some of the biggest moments in the history of the sport. With the stories of the 1961 World Team at its center, RISE illustrates how the unfulfilled dreams of those who lost their lives on Flight 548 would be shared -- and forever realized -- by the generations of skaters that have followed. Many of the dreams that have been fulfilled since that tragic day in 1961 were made possible through support from the U.S. Figure Skating Memorial Fund. The fund, established Feb. 23, 1961, as a living memorial to those that lost their lives in the crash, has supported thousands of skaters at every level, including Olympic champions, with contributions totaling in the millions. Proceeds from RISE will be used to further the mission of the Memorial Fund, which awards approximately $300,000 annually in grants and scholarships to skaters, recognizing performance both on and off the ice. More details about RISE and the premiere can be found on the website www.rise1961.com, which launched earlier this week. You can also follow RISE on Facebook and Twitter.