Top Skating Stars to Compete at Campbell's Cup

Kimmie Meissner
Photo by Paul Harvath

(8/21/06) - The first televised figure skating competition of the 2006-2007 season, the 2006 U.S. Figure Skating Campbell's Cup in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Sunday, Oct. 15, will feature three team competitions in a head-to-head format: the United States versus Japan in ladies and men, and the United States versus Canada in pairs and ice dancing combined. The United States vs. Japan competitions will be featured as part of a live telecast on ABC from 1-3 p.m. EST.

Scheduled to headline the U.S. team at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati are 2006 World champion Kimmie Meissner, 2006 Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen and 2006 Olympic ice dancing silver medalists Tanith Belbin & Ben Agosto.

“Competing against Japan is really beneficial for the U.S. team because they're one of the top countries in the sport,” Meissner said. “I think it'll be so fun to be on a team and compete with the U.S. skaters; we're normally just single skaters competing against each other. Plus, I can't wait to start competing again because I'm really excited for my new programs and to just get started.”

Cohen and Meissner's U.S. teammate in Cincinnati will be 2006 Olympian Emily Hughes. The U.S. men's team will consist of Olympians Evan Lysacek and Johnny Weir, along with 10-time U.S. Championships competitor Scott Smith. On the pairs and dance team, Belbin and Agosto will be joined by six U.S. teammates: two-time U.S. pairs champions Rena Inoue & John Baldwin, 2006 U.S. Championships fifth-place finishers Naomi Nari Nam & Themistocles Leftheris, and 2006 Olympic ice dancers Melissa Gregory & Denis Petukhov. The Japanese and Canadian teams will be announced at a later date. Skaters are subject to change.

The format of the event calls for each team to compete head to head based on point accumulation under the international judging system. In ladies, Team USA and Team Japan will consist of three individuals each competing either a short program or free skate; the men's competition will consist of the same format. In pairs and ice dancing, Team USA and Team Canada will consist of four teams each: one pairs team will compete a short program and one a free skate, and one ice dancing team will compete an original dance and one a free dance.

Total prize money at the event will equal $240,000. In ladies and men, the first place team will win $60,000 ($20,000 per skater); while the second place team wins $30,000. In pairs/ice dancing, the first place team will win $40,000 ($10,000 per team) and the second place team wins $20,000.

The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, with the ABC live broadcast taking place from 1-3 p.m. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, Aug. 22, at 10 a.m. and are available at the U.S. Bank Arena box office, all Ticketmaster locations including select Kroger stores, by calling 513.562.4949 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets cost $74.50, $58.50, $42.50 and $27.50 and are all located in the lower bowl, with senior and group discounts available. The Family Four Pack discounts $20 off the purchase of four $27.50 tickets, allowing a family of four to enjoy the competition for less than $100.

Campbell's has been a major sponsor of U.S. Figure Skating since 1995. The Campbell's Cup was previously named the Campbell's International Figure Skating Classic, and it has been held each October to jump-start the international figure skating season.

In addition to the singles, pairs and ice dancing competitions, the synchronized skating team from Miami University (Ohio) will perform an exhibition. The team is the current U.S. synchronized senior champion, having ended the six-year run of the Haydenettes of Lexington, Mass, in February 2006. Miami is on the 2006-2007 U.S. National Team and will represent the United States at international competitions. Synchronized skating consists of 12-20 skaters on the ice performing programs side by side and in unison.