All day today Rockefeller Rink and Rockefeller Plaza in NYC is the place to be for all things Olympic. The U.S. Olympic Committee is celebrating Team USA in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, just 100 days away! I arrived at 7:30 a.m. to check things out and there were already hockey and curling demonstrations happening on the rink. Booths were also set up along the perimeter of the plaza to showcase the various winter sports, including, of course, one for figure skating! (see photo above) On display were dresses worn by 1972 Olympic bronze medalist Janet Lynn and five-time U.S. champion and two-time Olympic ice dancer Elizabeth Punsalan (who won the titles with hubby Jerod Swallow). Janet's dress is on the right and Elizabeth's dress is on the left.
Later today, there is an ice dancing demonstration with U.S. Olympic ice dancers Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov, as well as a meet-and-greet in the afternoon with two-time U.S. pairs champions Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker. Keauna and Rockne are having a great season so far, just having won the bronze medal at the 2009 Rostelcom Cup of Russia.
Off in another part of the plaza, Jeret "Speedy" Peterson from the U.S. Ski Team Freestyle showed off his high-flying moves and I gotta say, boy, that trampoline was small. It's concrete underneath if he mistimes his tricks folks and I was nervous every time he started twisting and flipping (see photo at right). What athletes these freestyle aerialists are!
In addition to introducing the Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls who will make up Team USA, we also got a sneak peek at the opening and closing ceremony fashions that the athletes will be wearing. There were activities for children (and adults) where they could test out their abilities in snowboarding and skiing. So overall, they jam-packed a lot of things into the plaza and the rink. The festivities will end at 5 p.m. today so if you're around the area, it's worth strolling around and seeing the athletes up close and personal.
(Photo below, curling demonstration at Rockefeller Rink)