The weather was anything but cooperative but, thankfully, the 2013 Progressive Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular went off without a hitch inside the climate-controlled Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.
On Saturday, nearly 2,000 area residents braved the elements in order to witness the event in its second consecutive performance at the arena. According to Kurt Silcott, chief executive officer of the arena, it was quite the achievement to secure a deal to bring the event back for another year.
"We worked with Steve Disson, and he's friends with a local gentleman here by the name of Roger Conner, so that's how we got the show here the first time," Silcott said. "Steve was so pleased with the turnout and the response from the community, that we started negotiating for a second-year show, and we were able to get them to come back. We're currently negotiating with them to extend (the agreement) and do another show next year, so we're hopeful that that will be able to happen.
John Orozco tumbles behind Candice Glover during Saturday’s 2013 Progressive Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular event at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.
Photo by Valory S. Isaacson
"But for us, and for Jamestown and for the region, it's a big deal to bring all of these national champions and an American Idol champion to perform here," he continued. "If you go to a lot of communities this size, you're never going to see something like this. So, we think it's pretty special that we could get it here. It's a coup for the city, it's a coup for the region and it's a coup for the arena, and we're hopeful that we can keep it going."
Silcott said the event received a strong showing despite having to overcome certain challenges.
"We didn't sellout this year, which is a little disappointing," he said. "And the weather certainly didn't help, especially for people that were coming in from outside the area. But we do this event for the people in this area and this region, and this is just an example of some of the great things that there are to do in Jamestown."
The event was hosted by several big names, including: Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic figure skating champion; Michael Weiss, three-time U.S. figure skating champion; and Olympic gymnastics champions Nadia Comaneci and Bart Conner. Vocal performances were given by Candice Glover, winner of the 2013 American Idol competition, as well as Coco Jones and Lucas Grabeel, star of Disney's "High School Musical," and ABC Family's "Switched at Birth."
Skaters included: Elvis Stojko, Joannie Rochette, Kurt Browning, Max Aaron, Ryan Bradley and the duo of Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir. Gymnasts featured the talents of Nastia Liukin, Catalina Ponor, Jordyn Wieber, Beth Tweddle, John Orozco, Steve Legendre, Brandon Wynn, Paul Ruggerri and a duo performance by Tweddle and Daniel Whiston.
The show was recorded live and will air nationally on NBC from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 5.