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Ron Judd's Olympics Insider

Ron Judd, an Olympics junkie and Seattle Times columnist who has covered Olympic sports since 1997, will use this space to serve up news and opinion on the Summer and Winter Games -- also inviting you to chime in on Planet Earth's biggest get-together.

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May 5, 2008 2:33 PM

Spokane lands 2010 Olympic skating trials

Posted by Ron Judd

Spokane landed a big one today -- the 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Nationals, an event that also doubles as the Olympic Trials for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

The city won the event on the strength of its strong performance hosting the Nationals in 2007, when it set event attendance records of more than 154,000 fans. Men's champion Evan Lysacek said skaters "felt like rock stars" in the Lilac City.

Says Ron Hershberger, U.S. Figure Skating's president: "There is huge support for this event from the city of Spokane that goes well beyond the figure skating community. These factors, and the excellent facilities in Spokane, will provide an extraordinarily positive atmosphere for our athletes, The enthusiasm we experienced in 2007 certainly proved that Spokane can host a truly outstanding event."

The venue again will be the 10,500-seat Spokane Arena, built in 1995. NBC will provide more than 10 hours of live coverage for the event.

"We couldn't be prouder or more excited for our hometown," Toby Steward, president of the local managing agency, Star USA," said in a release from U.S. Figure Skating. "The world will be riveted to the excitement of the Olympic Winter Games, and the Pacific Northwest will be in the spotlight. Spokane will now have a direct connection to that excitement."

The event will take place from Jan. 14-24; its scope has recently been expanded to spread major competitions across consecutive weekends, to maximize prime-time TV exposure. Men's and pairs competition will take place during the first weekend; women's finals and ice dance finals will fall on the second weekend.

All-event ticket packages will go on sale May 31 by calling 800-325-SEAT or online at Single tickets typically are sold later, but they're often very limited because package buyers get dibs on prime events.

U.S. Figure Skating didn't name the other candidate cities, but two were rumored to be Providence, R.I. and Portland. The event is a big deal for the Northwest, and a huge one for Spokane.

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Blogroll and links The official International Olympic Committtee site, with news releases, a searchable Olympic medals database and other archival information. Olympic news site from one of the Games' primary sponsors.
NBC Olympics columnist Alan Abrahamson's column/blog
Chicago Tribune Olympic sports writer Philip Hersh's blog U.S. Olympic Committee's athlete web site. Ed and Sheila Hula's Olympic News Service (subscription). News service with audio, video and text coverage of Olympic sports, during and between Olympics. Free, but charges for live video feed subscriptions. Beijing Organizing Committee Web site. Vancouver Organizing Committee's 2010 Winter Games site. London 2012 Summer Games site. Sochi, Russia's 2014 Winter Games site. Candidate city Chicago's summer 2016 bid committee site.
Olympic swimmer Tara Kirk's highly entertaining WCSN blog
Bellevue Olympian Scott Macartney's WCSN alpine ski-racing blog
Other WCSN Olympic athlete blogs.