In the end, the children were not disappointed. Olympic champions
Kristi Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton, Ilia Kulik and Ekaterina Gordeeva made
an appearance at the ice skating rink to promote a series of figure
skating shows in the Los Angeles area next week.
"I love them. I want to be like them some day," said Natalie, who has
been ice skating since the age of five.
Hamilton said the figure skaters have been training for the tour for a
"It's a real challenge -- physically, mentally and emotionally," he
"I started Stars On Ice 14 years ago when I left Ice Capades. They
didn't think men could sell tickets and look at us now we're doing really
great and Ice Capades is out of business," joked Hamilton.
Hamilton said the cast of Stars on Ice -- which also includes World
and National Figure Skating Champion Tara Lipinski and four-time World
Champion Kurt Browning -- endures a strenuous schedule that includes
constant travel and work six days a week.
Yamaguchi, who has been skating in the Stars on Ice tour for eight
years, said this year's program is livelier than in tours past.
"It's more of a happier mood. There's disco music in the program and
other different types of music for all tastes," said Yamaguchi.
Gordeeva said she particularly liked the Latin and upbeat tempos the
skaters are performing to this year.
"We are feeding off of the adrenaline from the audience, " she said.
Now in its 14th year, the Stars On Ice tour is sponsored by Target
stores. Fifty cents from every ticket sold goes toward Target House,
which provides a place to stay for patients and families whose children
are undergoing treatment for life-threatning diseases at St. Jude
Research Hospital in Memphis.
Los Angeles area tour dates for the Stars on Ice Tour include the
Arrowhead Pond on Jan. 15 and The Staples Center on Jan. 16. For
information, see the group's Web site at www.starsonice.com.