An article on the Red Square ice show. Odd formatting preserves the original - http://www.gum.ru/?p=/news.php?nocount&id=80.
On December 19th, stars of Russian and World figure skating took the ice at the GUM-Rink at the Red Square.
In anticipation of the “Figure Skating on Red Square” show, a press conference was held at the GUM auditorium. Official faces of the project took part – head of the company BoscoSport, a sponsor of the Russian Olympic team, Mikhail Kusnirovich, president of the Russian Olympic committee Leonid Tyagachev, Russian Figure Skating federation president Valentin Piseev , famous figure skating coach Tatiana Tarasova, current Grand Prix champion the Frenchman Brian Joubert, and the Chinese team Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao that also won the Grand Prix this year.
Participants talked about the project in detail, describing its role in the life of the city and the country, and the planned events at the GUM-Rink, including the show “Figure Skating on Red Square”.
“Red Square has seen Victory parades, holidays, concerts, and a basketball holiday”, said Leonid Tyagachev. “Now, with permission from the country’s main athlete Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, we managed to put up a rink at the Red Square. We have already held a hockey match there, but hockey is a battle, whereas figure skating is beauty, esthetic, and the culture of our country.”
Russian skating federation president Valentin Piseev described the state of Russian team in this sport very thoroughly. “There will be interesting competition among single men and pairs at the upcoming Russian Nationals. I am sure that we will be fighting for medals at Europeans as well.”
Renowned coach Tatiana Tarasova was sincerely thrilled at seeing the Western skating stars at the show. “I am grateful for being alive to see this. The best athletes of our time are coming to us. All my life, we would go to them for some mind boggling shows, but to them here, at the heart of our Moscow! They’ve come to Red Square to show their programs, to skate along side our great skaters, and to win our hearts”.
On December 19th and the GUM Rink, skaters were not competing or thinking of required elements. They were only skating for fun – theirs and the audiences. They created a real ice extravaganza of creative and catching dances. Next to the New Year tree, along the brightly lit GUM, and, of course, the scarlet Kremlin stars, the performances of the skaters under falling snow looked like a fairy tale.
The show was hosted by the ice dancing 2002 Olympic silver medalist Ilya Averbukh, who is already quite experienced in such affairs, and by and actress Ingeborga Dapkunajte.
About three thousand lucky ones who completely filled the stands could enjoy the skating of our Olympic champions [b]Alexei Yagudin, Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikhuralidze, Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin, Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov, and Olympic medalists Irina Slutskaya, Irina Lobacheva and Ilya Averbukh. They were brought onto the ice by our famous coach Tatiana Tarasova.
“Our foreign colleagues are more amazed than we are” said Russian skaters Domnina and Shabalin. “They are constantly awed, asking themselves how come they didn’t think of something as simple as making a show at an open rink and some special place in their cities?! At a practice, Oksana asked what time it was. The Spasskaya Tower immediately answered here with its famous ring.”
“The impression from skating with the backdrop of St. Basil Catherdal and Kremlin is, of course, amazing” admitted a many-time champion of Europe and World, a medalist of two Olympics in single skating Irina Slutskaya. “Skating on Red Square is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I am proud of being a part of it. On the one hand, cold wind and snow were in the way. On the other hand – thank God for such weather. It’s a true Russian winter! Perhaps that’s what created such awesome atmosphere on the ice. Personally, I wasn’t even cold despite like clothing.”
The audience especially liked the Lithuanian team of Margarita Drobiazko and Povilas Vanagas, Ukrainian Oksana Baiul, Frenchman Brian Joubert, and the Chinese Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao who have just won the Grand Prix Final in Saint Petersburg. That’s to be expected – it’s such a joy to see the stars of Russian and World figure skating under the Kremlin stars!
Following his skate, European and World ex-champion in pair skating Alexei Tikhonov admitted to feeling like a child again. “We participated in a grandiose event tat will go into history of Russian figure skating!” claimed Alexei Tikhonov. “For all of us, this show is like a return to childhood. Each of the now famous skaters started skating in the court yards that also had a New Year tree, and the snow was also falling. I am happy to have relived this. During today’s practice, I didn’t even want to leave the ice so much was I touched by all this atmosphere.”
The show was broadcasted on Channel 1 on December 23d at 21:20.