Originally created 02/10/00

Ice show skates into Augusta

Skating their 27th performance in less than a month, it would be easy to assume that the cast of international skaters on the FTD Champions on Ice tour would be too weary to leap another leap or spin another spin.

But you wouldn't know it to look at them.

Skating onto the ice a fashionable 30 minutes late, the skaters wowed an appreciative audience Wednesday night at Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center. Opening with a medley of short excerpts, each skater was greeted in turn by applause, cheers and a flurry of camera flashes.

During intermission, the lobby was filled with children spinning and jumping, imitating their new ice-bound heroes. For Steve Zeit and his family, the show offered inspiration. Mr. Zeit's young daughter Stephanie skates locally at the Augusta IceForum and will compete in Nashville, Tenn., next week.

"We all enjoy ice skating," he explained. "I've gotten into it now, and we all enjoy it."

Stephanie said her favorite skater was Dorothy Hamill, still spinning after all these years.

"I just think she skates good," Stephanie said quietly.

The crowd seemed to agree with Stephanie's assessment, reserving the loudest set of cheers for Ms. Hamill's appearances on the ice.

The mostly female audience seemed most taken with the antics of French skater Philippe Candeloro. Skating onto the ice wearing only streaks of paint on his chest, Mr. Candeloro finished his first number by leaping onto the arena dasher-boards and bestowing a kiss on an unsuspecting patron.

An envious woman on the other side of the arena cursed her poor seating fate.

"Oh, I wish that had been me."

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626.


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