SAN JOSE, Calif. - The 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships have arrived in San Jose. Some of the sport's biggest names will compete next week for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team, but Friday afternoon, it was America's future skating stars who took their turns at center ice.
"We practice really hard for this day, especially since it's in the Bay," says Allison Kim, Peninsula pairs figure skater.
Kim and her partner, Ethan Musladin made their debut at the national level in the intermediate pairs competition. They're among the 1,700 athletes, coaches and officials taking part in this year's event.
"We're also pretty nervous too," says Musladin. "It's kind of a combination of nervous and excitement."
Lower-level competitors are hitting the ice this weekend at Solar4America Ice in San Jose, which is one of the largest ice rink facilities in the country. Senior-level skaters will compete next week at the SAP Center to determine who moves on to the Olympic Games.
San Jose previously hosted nationals back in 2012. Tourism officials say the event generated more than $23 million in economic impact that year. They expect the numbers to be even higher this time around.
"This is typically a slow time for San Jose hotels, and to have a big event coming in this time of year, it helps out the local economy, downtown hotels, and brings more people into the area that would normally not be here," says Kyle Schatzel, Team San Jose/Visit San Jose communications manager.
Bay Area coach, and former junior world champion, Derrick Delmore says it's great to have the competition so close to home.
"It's nice to see that (support), it's not just for hockey, or just for the Sharks," says Delmore. "There's also a huge support for the past champions, and the future champions that are being created this weekend."
Find more ticket information here.