Skating champs: Stars On Ice glides into United Center | Entertainment

The top talents in the ice skating field will take the ice this weekend in Chicago.

Stars on Ice, featuring the ice skating world’s champion athletes, will perform Saturday at Chicago’s United Center.

The skating show, Stars on Ice, was founded in 1986 by champion skater Scott Hamilton as a way to showcase the talents of ice skating champs away from the competitive arena.

On Tuesday, the town opened new ice rinks at the tennis courts of Northgate Park in Dyer, a project that has been long in the making, Dyer Director of Parks and Recreation Michael O’Shea told The Times.

In the last two years the production was halted due to the pandemic. It’s back in a big way with a great number of today’s champs and hot talents in the skating world.

Among those starring on the roster this year are Olympic champion Nathan Chen; 2022 Olympic Silver and Bronze Medalists, three-time World Medalists and three-time U.S. Champions Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue; 2022 Olympic Silver Medalists and U.S. Champions Alexa Knierim & Brandon Frazier; 2022 Olympic Silver Medalists, two-time World Medalists and three-time and reigning U.S. Champions Madison Chock & Evan Bates; 2022 Olympic Silver Medalist and U.S. Champion Karen Chen; and 2022 Olympic Silver Medalist, World Bronze Medalist and three-time U.S. Silver Medalist Vincent Zhou.

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Other champs skating in the show will be Jason Brown; Alysa Liu; Mariah Bell and Mirai Nagasu.

Skating duo Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier said the tour has been a wonderful endeavor to be a part of.

“So far, the tour has been great,” Frazier said. He said it’s an honor to be performing with a talented cast of championship skaters.

“We’re doing a total of 24 shows and we’ve got a little more than half way to go,” Knierim said, adding they travel by bus from city to city.

Knierim, who is from Addison, Illinois, said it’s exciting to be coming to Chicago with the tour, which is a bit of a homecoming for her.

“I saw Stars On Ice performances many times at The United Center,” Knierim said. Frazier, she said, also spent some time in Illinois training with coaches in the area while with his former skating partner.

The duo said it’s rewarding being in a show such as Stars on Ice, which isn’t a competitive production. It focuses more on the entertainment side of the sport.

“Alexa and I enjoy both competitive and show skating,” Frazier said. “They’re definitely two different dynamics. There’s a lot more fun and bubbliness to  show skating and there’s the interaction with the crowd.”

Frazier added “At the end of the day, though, we love doing both so much.”

Knierim said it’s their first time skating in Stars On Ice.

“There are a lot of veterans and a lot of newbies in the show. I’m enjoying the learning curve,” she said.

Taking the recent U.S. title for a skating pair, Frazier said, was an honor.

“Winning the world championships was huge personally and for the federation,” he said. “Alexa and I put in so much hard work.”

For Knierim, the sport of skating, continues to be a great passion and it continues to hold great fascination for her.

“For me, it’s the sense of freedom you can have with skating that I love.”

Frazier said, “There’s so many different aspects I love about skating. You’re trying to challenge yourself constantly. I love challenging myself.”

The duo will be showcasing their graceful and technically strong style in group and individual numbers during the show.