It's been over 45 years since Omaha has hosted the US Figure Skating Championships. Things have changed since then; the Ak-Sar-Ben Coliseum has been demolished and replaced with an upscale retail development. The costumes are sleeker and more streamlined, and the event is now televised by NBC. So what else has changed since professional figure skaters competed in Omaha? Lori Fairchild, the senior postiche director of this year's event, graciously answered a few questions about what fans should expect.
Q: Some fans may only be familiar with figure skating in the Olympics, such as the whole Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding drama. Is that what Omahans should expect?
Lori: Oh, no! Figure skating isn't like a Denver Pioneers hockey game at all. It's an event filled with grace and skill, as the arena is filled with people await in silent awe of the beauty unfolding before their very eyes.
Q: So it's more like Creighton basketball, right?
Lori: No, not nearly that quiet. Though the affection fans show their favorite skaters can be quite similar, I must admit. That's why we kept the Bud Bar open and fully stocked with Zima ever since their last game against Northern Iowa. We're hoping many of them will stick around until the end of the Championships.
Q: Tell me more!
Lori: The skaters have put in years of effort to make it to this level. The intricacies of each movement require careful choreography to put it all together.
Q: So it's more like Michigan hockey, then?
Lori: No, no, no. Unlike the Weasels, everyone here has already mastered the basics of skating. You'll be amazed as they twirl and gracefully move around the center of the ice.
Q: Ahh! I get it now. It's more like Bemidji hockey!
Lori: That's a little closer, but figure skating simply isn't ugly like the neutral zone trap. It's beautiful moves by beautiful people wearing beautifully designed apparel designed specifically for each performance.
Lori: You mean like Oregon football, right?
A: Kind of, except that it's visually appealing, not garish. Not quite Nike Pro Combat in design, mind you.
I want to thank Lori for her time explaining the US Figure Skating Championships, and I wish all of performers the best of luck this week. Enjoy your time in Omaha!