Figure Skating Legends Support Cancer Research

An Evening with Champions 2011 feat. Yuna Kim
Hojung Lee and Andrew J. Petschek

Mesmerizing performances by some of figure skating’s greatest athletes delighted fans at An Evening With Champions at the Bright Hockey Center, filling Saturday evening with an assortment of jumps, lifts, spread eagles, and backflips.

1992 Olympic silver medalist Paul S. Wylie ’90 and Olympian Emily A. Hughes ’12 co-hosted and performed in the show, which also featured 2010 U.S. national champion Rachael E. Flatt, Canadian Olympian Shawn Sawyer, and 2010 Olympic champion Yu-na Kim. Kim performed her exhibition piece “Fever,” which showcased her dance moves and gracefulness on the ice.

Every year, the entirely student-run event spotlights premier ice skaters from around the world. In its 41st year, the event has raised over $2.5 million for the Jimmy Fund, the fundraising arm of the Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This year’s show has generated over $100,000, according to a co-chair of the event.

“Our whole, entire goal is to support the Jimmy Fund and to promote pediatric and adult cancer research and treatment,” EWC co-chair Clara Yoon ’12 said.

Other skating legends, like 1994 Olympic champion Oksana S. Baiul, also performed, and two-time Olympic champions Ludmila Y. Belousova and Oleg A. Protopopov, now in their 70s, received a standing ovation from the crowd after performing a beautiful classical piece.

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The skaters said they considered it an honor to be invited to this charity event.

“It’s a big event,” 2003 U.S. Collegiate champion Braden Overett said, “and it’s kind of known within skating as a prestigious event to be invited to.”

This event is special not only because of the great performances but also because of the cause. Each year, all the athletes get to tour the Jimmy Fund Clinic and learn about the Dana-Farber Institute.

“It’s such a good charity,” Sawyer said. “The tour that we had explained a lot of the history and what they are going to do with the funds. So, to me, it was really important to know what was going to happen [with the funds]. Boston is really fortunate to have that hospital working with the kids.”

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