San Jose prepares for Figure Skating Championship

January 26, 2012 11:51:56 PM PST
The city of San Jose is in the spotlight as it hosts the 2012 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships at HP Pavilion. It's a big honor for a region that's given us some very big names in figure skating.

The opening ceremonies were held Thursday night at HP Pavilion for a premiere skating event that San Jose now has the pleasure of hosting for a second time.

"It's a big deal that San Jose has nationals again. It's been since 1996. It's rare for another city to host the nationals twice," said figure skater Rudy Galindo.

Galindo is just one of several big name Bay Area figure skaters on hand for the competition.

"Brian and Kristi and Debi and Rudy and Charlie Tickner and I, we moved to different places to take from different coaches, but we started here," said figure skater Peggy Fleming.

Fleming still lives in the South Bay and says San Jose is an ideal pick for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships because of the Shark's ice.

"They have four surfaces for all the practices and there are a lot of competitors here and they need the practice time. You have to keep that consistency going when you get to the championship," said Fleming.

Brian Botaino thinks the people have a lot to do with it as well.

"Americans they do love it in every city, but especially in the Bay Area. There's something special about coming back to San Jose and the area because they really do embrace it and they really do want to have it back," said Botaino.

The line to get it is proof.

"I used to ice skate when I was younger so I'm really looking forward to it," said Monica Valencia from Palo Alto.

"One of my favorite sports is actually ice skating. I thought we'd expose my daughter, Lauren, to ice skating for the first time," said John Glazzy from San Jose.

The event will continue on Friday and Saturday.