Posted at: 01/18/2013 4:06 PM
Updated at: 01/18/2013 8:53 PM
By: Gina Capellazzi
Jamestown, NY is the home of television legend, Lucille Ball, but in December, the small city south of Buffalo, became home for a week to a cast of Olympic and world class gymnasts and skaters.
Disson Skating, which produces various figure skating shows, brought its annual Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular to the Jamestown Ice Arena on December 15. The show, which combines the artistry and athleticism of figure skating and gymnastics, was taped in front of a sold out crowd and will air on NBC this weekend.
The gymnastics cast included several of the 2012 London Olympians including gold medalists Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber and Aly Raisman. Also joining the cast was 2008 Olympic All-Around champion, Nastia Liukin. This is Nastia's seventh time doing the show.
Nastia Liukin, 2008 Olympic All-Around Champion, said, “It is a lot of fun for me because gymnastics and skating are two of my favorite sports, both summer and winter Olympics. So it is really fun to be able to come together with some of my teammates on the gymnastics side, but then to be able to perform with the skaters.”
The skating cast included a few of the reigning national champions like Jeremy Abbott, Ashley Wagner and Meryl Davis and Charlie White. All are hoping to represent the United States in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Despite that gymnastics and skating are two different sports and compete in different Olympics, the cast says there are a lot of similarities between the two that many people don't realize.
Charlie White, 2012 U.S. National Ice Dance Champion, said, “The dedication it takes to get to the top of the sport, the stress that it puts on our bodies, both you have to be in tip top shape, you really have to take care of yourself.
Some of the skaters even admitted to trying gymnastics when they were younger.
Gracie Gold, 2012 U.S. Junior National Championship, said, “I did figure skating and gymnastics before my parents made me choose because of the cost of the sport. It is a really fun sport and I really liked it, but I felt, at figure skating, I was more talented at and I had more of a passion for figure skating.”
Jeremy Abbott, three-time U.S. National Champion, said, “I did gymnastics up until I was about 10 or 11 and I chose skating.”
The cast is also joined by two popular children's music acts. The band, R5, which features Disney Channel star, Ross Lynch, from the show, “Austin and Aly” and the Fresh Beat Band from Nickelodeon. So the show has something that everyone in the family will enjoy.
Meryl Davis, 2012 U.S. National Ice Dance Champions, said, “I think this show in particular has a really exciting blend of gymnastics, skating, artistry, athleticism and also a lot of great music, family friendly music certainly.”
You can watch Progressive's Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular on Sunday January 20 at 4:00pm on News10NBC.
(One of our producers at News10NBC got the opportunity to interview some of the gymnasts and skaters before the show in Jamestown. These are her pictures and videos from the event.)