Olympic Skaters Have Visited Skokie; Skatium Sending To Sochi

Jason Brown, Ashley Wagner and other top U.S. skaters have all performed at the Skatium.

The 1,100 figure skaters enrolled in Skokie's Skatium programs are very excited that America's new figure skating darlings Jason Brown and Ashley Wagner are going to the Olympics, because they've performed in Skokie.

Kerry Murphy, skating director for the Skokie Park District's Skatium, said hundreds of Skokie-area skaters will be sending letters to Brown, Wagner and Gracie Gold, who was scheduled to skate at the Skatium Oct. 15 but cancelled because she changed coaches days earlier.

Gold, who belongs to a figure skating club in Crystal Lake, also made the Olympic team. 

Murphy has set up a system for the Skatium's skaters, mostly children and youth, to write letters to Wagner, Brown and Gold.

"They can say things like, 'We loved it when you were at our rink. We remember when we got a chance to meet you, and good luck,' Wagner said.

She'll mail the letters directly to the athletes at the Olympic Village in Sochi, she said, because it creates more excitement for the athletes than if she mailed the missives to their agents.

Once a year for about the past 10 years, Murphy said the Skatium puts on a big show with many of the top U.S. figure skaters. They have included Mirai Nagasu, who almost made the women's Olympic team; Scott Hamilton, Evan Lysacek, Johnny Weir, Emily Hughes, Sasha Cohen and others. 

Skatium skaters will also gather together to watch the men's and women's finals in the Olympic figure skating competition on television, she said.

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