Hartford has been selected
as the host city for Skate America 2006, U.S. Figure Skating
will announce at an afternoon press conference with city and
state officials at the state Capitol today.
It would be the first international skating event in Connecticut's
capital since the world championships were held at the Hartford
Civic Center in 1981.
Hartford was selected over Cincinnati after a USFS delegation
visited both finalists in late February.
Skate America is the first of seven Grand Prix figure skating
events held by the International Skating Union every year,
and it kicks off the competitive season. The four-day competition
is held in October.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell, House Speaker James A. Amann, Hartford
Mayor Eddie A. Perez, William Mudano of the Connecticut Sports
Management Group and Donna Graugard of the Skating Club of
Hartford will participate in today's announcement.
The Skating Club of Hartford and the Connecticut Sports
Management Group, which organized the Nutmeg State Games,
the state Senior Games and the State Games of America, will
Not wanting to detract from the anticipation of today's
press conference in the governor's office, a U.S. Figure
Skating source was reluctant to make an on-the-record confirmation
about Hartford's selection.
But asked if Hartford
would hold a press conference to announce that Cincinnati,
not Hartford, had been chosen, the source laughed and said, "No,
The 2004 Skate America event was held in Pittsburgh; Atlantic
City will host 2005 Skate America Oct. 20-23.
Angela Nikodinov of the United States and France's Brian
Joubert, who trains at the International Skating Center of
Connecticut in Simsbury, won the individual titles in Pittsburgh.
China's Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang won in pairs.
Skate America normally attracts 60 world-class skaters from
about a dozen countries, the largest international field
other than the world championships and the Olympics, which
are in Turin, Italy, in February 2006.
Bob Dunlop, U.S. Figure Skating's assistant executive director
for events and athletic resources, headed the delegation
that visited Hartford on Feb. 27 and 28. Dunlop was traveling
Tuesday and was unavailable for comment.
On its Hartford visit, the U.S. Figure Skating group attended
the Stars on Ice show at the Civic Center, had breakfast
with Perez, toured the renovated Hartford Hilton that reopened
that week, met Rell in her office, toured the Civic Center
and had lunch at Mayor Mike's with former Hartford Mayor
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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