Philadelphia, PA
U.S. National Figure Skating Championship


The "City of Brotherly Love," Philadelphia was the site for the selection of our U.S. Olympic Team at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. What an experience to have center seats and witness our best skaters at home prior to the Winter Olympic in Nagano, Japan. It was an exciting event for our young new tour participants, skaters from the Springdale Figure Skating Club, Stamford, Connecticut to experience the thrill and excitement of live competition. Additionally, it was a great opportunity for them to see their favorite skaters up close and personal and the opportunity to see their winning results after years of hard work.

Our hotel for the week was the DoubleTree and guests were checked in with their famous chocolate chip cookies. The hotel was centrally located in the theater district of Philadelphia and close to the Convention Center, which also served as a practice rink. Tour participants visited the sights of historic Philadelphia with a city sightseeing tour of Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Betsy Ross House, and other sights from a trolley. Cheese steak sub sandwiches was one of the favorite foods to indulge in while in Philly.

The strength and artistic impression of our champions, Todd Eldredge and the beauty and grace of our Ladies Champion, Michelle Kwan, was inspiring. Both skaters are truly champions and are some of our best hopes for medal contention at the Winter Olympics in February. Tara Lipinski, the 1997 U.S. and World Champion, and an Olympic medal contender, skated to a silver medal finish and will join bronze medalist, Nicole Bobeck in completing the U.S. Ladies team for the Olympics. Silver medalist, Michael Weiss will join Todd on the men's team. This will be Weiss' first time skating in the Olympics.

Husband and wife team, Elizabeth Punsalon and Jerod Swallow, epitomized how well they relate on the ice as they danced beautifully for their fifth straight U.S. Dance Title. New Junior World Champions, Jessica Joseph and Charles Butler will join them for their first Olympic performance. Look for this team to have a wonderful impact on the world of ice dancing.

The unique style and maturity of repeat U.S. Pair Champions Jason Dungen and Kyoko Ina will shine as the participate in their first Olympics. Husband and wife team Jenni Meno and Todd Sand had to withdraw with Jenni's injury, but look for their artistry and beautiful presentation on the ice as they compete in their second Olympics together. Silver Blade Tours, Inc. looks forward to cheering on our finest U.S. team for success in the Olympics. Go Team USA!

(pictured above) Claudyne Cassella Hutchinson, in back, and tour members from the Springdale Figure Skating Club of Stamford, CT., take a break at the rinks edge during the Nationals in Philly.


Silver Blade Tours, Inc.
"The Skating Tour Experts"
Claudyne Cassella Hutchinson
2672 Flowing Well Road, DeLand, FL 32720-8903 USA
Tel. (386) 943-4071 - Fax: (386) 738-2512
Experience the Thrill and Excitement of Live Competition!
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Silver Blade Tours, Inc. - The Skating Tour Experts

© 2000 Silver Blade Tours, Inc., or others, all rights reserved.
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