Olympic Gold and National Champions Come to Jamestown
“This is a once in a lifetime show,” said Steve Disson, President of Disson Skating. “This is the strongest cast we’ve ever had, because we had to do something special for Jamestown. The thing that makes this really special is that one city, and only one city, gets to see this one time only show live each year. I’m happy to say this year the show is coming to Jamestown.”
Disson was describing the Progressive Skating & Gymnastics Spectacular, beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 15, 2012, at the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena. The performance will be aired on NBC on January 19, 2013. On-air hosts will be Peggy Fleming, Nadia Comaneci and Bart Conner.
The Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena management and staff has been preparing for this spectacular since they signed on for the show in the spring of 2012. “This is a big job, with emphasis on big,” said Phil Genco, Marketing Manager for the Arena. This is a high profile, national event, “But we can do it, we can make it happen, even with the overflow, standing room only crowd we expect to see,” Genco said. He also credits the Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation, city utility workers and Mayor Sam Teresi for great support.
The gymnasts and figure skaters in the Progressive Skating & Gymnastics Spectacular will offer more than their performances during their brief stay in Jamestown. They will also generously give some of their time for meet ‘n greets and to inspire young skaters. Selected cast members will make appearances with instructors representing the Jamestown Skating Club on Thursday, December 13, between 4:30 and 6:00pm, for the Skate Fest, free skating and free lessons. Parents are invited to call 484-2624 for more information.
Olympic Gold Medal winners, gymnasts Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber and Aly Raisman, three of the “Fierce Five,” the 2012 Summer Olympic U.S. Women’s Gymnastic Team, captained by Raisman, will headline the show along with Nastia Liukin, one of the most decorated gymnasts in U.S. history and four more Olympic and World Champion medalists.
“I’m showing the younger generation your career doesn’t have to be over when you’re 16-years-old,” said Nastia Liukin, whose list of accomplishments extends far beyond the 2008 Olympic All Around Champion, five time Olympic medalist, four time World Champion and nine time World medalist.
For Nastia Liukin, Jamestown will be her sixth annual appearance with Disson Skating, part of a highly successful professional career following her Olympic triumphs as an amateur. Disson, headquartered in McLean, Virginia, is the largest producer of nationally televised skating shows, attracting more than six million TV viewers for every show.
Gabby Douglas has become a role model for young athletes, and all of the nation’s youth, not only for her gold medal winning performances, but for her team spirit, her cheerful smile and especially for her work ethic as an athlete. “Hard days are the best because that’s when champions are made,” she promises young athletes.
Olympic gold gymnastics winner Jordyn Wieber, also the 2011 World Women’s All Around Champion, has adopted a personal style that can help young athletes balance the work and the enjoyment of competition. After Jordyn worked as hard as she could on her performance, she was able to enter the competition with a positive attitude. “My main goal was just to go out there and have fun and perform because I know all of my skills are there, and I didn’t have to worry about them.”
Olympic teammate and fellow gold medalist, Aly Raisman, found her experience of winning in London enhanced her sense of patriotism too. “It was such an amazing experience… I’m so proud and happy. I hope I made America proud tonight.” The Progressive Skating & Gymnastics Spectacular performers will display their winning attitudes in every performance.
Complementing the women, an outstanding team of male gymnasts are arriving at the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena. Jonathan Horton, a two time Olympian, earning a silver medal on high bar in 2008 and many U.S. and World championships, described his emotions on winning. “It feels amazing. The reason we win is because our team has more heart than anyone. We train hard.”
Danell Leyva, a Cuban-American gymnast, is the 2011 U.S. National all-around gold medalist, 2011 World Champion on parallel bars and 2012 London Olympic Men’s All-Around Bronze medalist. Danell’s Olympic competition was highlighted by his coach, who is also his stepdad, who distinguished himself with his frequent hugs, hops, whoops, fist pumps, weeping, ear tweaking and even stern looks, telling Danell, “You can do better!” One nationally televised commentator was moved to ask, “Where’s the gold medal for parenting?”
Chris Brooks and Jake Dalton round out the men’s contingent for the Disson Progressive Skating & Gymnastics Spectacular with myriad honors, championships and Olympic experience. Jake Dalton recently told a reporter for the U.S. National Team, “I had to decide to either keep competing (in gymnastics) or stop gymnastics and continue in baseball, so I decided to stop baseball.” One of his first experiences at the elite gymnastic level, however, secured his preference. He said, “The adrenaline rush in competition is something I love along with hitting a great routine and hearing the crowd or my team scream because you hit an awesome set.”
“I would like to become the kind of skater that younger skaters look up to. I want to be the kind of skater that makes the audience think and feel something when I skate,” said Adam Rippon, the 2012 U.S. silver medalist, 2010 Four Continents champion and two-time winner of World junior championships.
Jeremy Abbott, three-time U.S. National Champion in figure skating, two-time Four Continents bronze medalist and a Grand Prix final champion, shows that a champion always enjoys the sport, even when the gold slips away. After a recent competition, he simply said, “I had a couple of mistakes and some issues with spin levels, and that cost me first place … But I love this program and I love skating in it. I’m happy that I’m done and I’m in one piece.”
Meryl Davis and Charlie White, are now the longest lasting ice dancing team in the U.S., having teamed up for a long list of championships and stirring performances since 1997. Brother and sister, Maia and Alex Shibutani, having won many championships and medals, will also team up to create an inspiring ice dance performance.
Gracie Gold, Ashley Wagner and Alissa Czisny, all outstanding champions, round out the skating side of the Disson Progressive Skating & Gymnastics Spectacular.
Hit performances by The Fresh Beat Band, the no. 1 hit Nickelodeon kids television show stars will also be part of this once in a lifetime event in Jamestown. R5, a rising and popular California Pop Rock band made up of four siblings and a good friend, will also perform.
For more information about upcoming events at the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena. Go to www.jamestownsavingsbankicearena.com or call (716) 484-2624.