(01/14/14) - At Iceland Arena, blades are being sharpened for not one, but two months of gold medal festivities.
"This is a huge deal. We've got the Olympics coming up in February, we have our 'learn to skate' program on Monday evenings and Saturday mornings, tons of free giveaways, public skates," said Brandon Forsyth, Iceland Arena skating director.
A big Olympic celebration is in the works for Feb. 8.
"We're bringing in Naomi Lange. She's a 2002 Olympic competitor and also a 5-time national champion. She'll be doing an autograph signing session," Forsyth said.
Forsyth knows plenty about international competition. He was an Olympic dance team alternate in 2002. Over the last three years, his Competitive Edge program has grown to well over 200 skaters. He credits excitement over the upcoming games for that.
"Michigan is the epicenter for figure skating, especially for ice dancing. All six of our U.S. ice dance team members going to the Olympic Games are all from Michigan and train in Michigan. In fact, all six of them go to U of M," he said.
Several of Iceland's skaters have Olympic dreams, and a few just returned from competing at nationals.
"This was the biggest thing we've ever done. That rink was huge, and it was a little nerve-wracking, but it was fun," said ice dancer Renae Padgett.
On-ice fun and exercise is the message being spread over these next two months.
"Skating is just a great body core activity, gets your legs moving and your heart pumping. They're really pushing the 60 minutes of play, and that'll do it for you, at all ages," Forsyth said.
For more on National Figure Skating Month events at Iceland Arena, click HERE.
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