Men win Ice Wars
Top skaters compete in Battle of the Sexes at Carver Arena
||Peoria Journal Star|
||November 18, 2005|
Twelve-year-old Caren Petefish of Canton has always wanted to be a
professional skater, and now she's seen the best.
She was among the thousands of ice skating fans who attended
Thursday night's "Ice Wars: Battle of The Sexes," featuring eight of
the world's top Olympic skaters at the Peoria Civic Center.
"I wanted to see what it's going to take to be a great ice skater
like these skaters," Petefish said.
"Ice Wars" has featured team competitions since 1994, but this was
the first time teams were divided by gender. The show was taped by CBS
for a prime time broadcast Dec. 10.
The men's team consisted of Olympic gold medalists Brian Boitano
and Alexei Yagudin, four-time world champion Kurt Browning and
two-time Olympic silver medalist Elvis Stojko.
The women's team featured Olympic gold medalist Oksana Baiul,
Olympic silver medalist Nancy Kerrigan, 1999 world champion Maria
Butyrskaya of Russia and world champion Yuka Sato.
Each skater performed two artistic pieces, skating for individual
scores in the first half then skating against gender in the second
half. In the end, judges gave the win to the men.
"We drop the glass walls in the arena and the skaters are literally
right in front of you," said Marc Burnett, director of sales and
marketing at the Civic Center. "The audience can see the speed and
perspective of how high the skaters can jump, which is a truly special
Stojko, the first male skater to perform, was welcomed with
applause and screams.
"It's tough being the first skater, but this crowd makes it easy,"
he said afterward.
Baiul, the first female skater to perform, wore a gold sequined top
and pants she said she had created.
Audience members screamed, "We love you, Oksana," during her
Browning was another favorite and joked with the crowd.
"I like putting pressure on the girls," he said. "I really don't
want to lose."
Audience members said they just enjoyed watching.
"It's neat seeing the skaters, their bright outfits and listening
to the music that goes with their performances," said Claire Vonachen,
12, of Peoria.