DUNEDIN, New Zealand – In Dunedin, while blizzard conditions were threatening to envelop the city, a near capacity crowd at the Dunedin Ice Stadium sat in rapturous awe as a pageant of ice skaters created their own winter wonderland at the spectacular KIA Figure Skating Gala at the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games.
Canadian ice stars Paige Lawrence and Rudi Sweigers thrilled the crowd in a stunning opening to the event with a visual feast of extraordinary free skating. Fresh from podium wins at the Canadian National Championships and the Four Continents Championship, Paige and Rudi left no doubt as to why they are one of Canada’s top ice dancing pairs. Their entertaining and upbeat routine had the crowd riveted to their every move.
For the KIA Figure Skating Medal winners from the last three days, the Gala was an opportunity to enjoy themselves without the tension of competition; for the crowd it had all the elements of a great party on ice. Special guest skaters from Dunedin, 8yr old Amber Dovey and her 6 yr old brother Archer Dovey stole the hearts of the audience as they each performed their own routines displaying maturity beyond their years.
Australian Gold Medallist Nicholas Fernandez celebrated his winning form with a raunchy routine to the music of ‘Moves Like Jagger’, he had the time of his life and the audience loved him for it. All of the Korean Gold medallist wove their magic to win ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ from the audience as they skated with their characteristic poise and grace.
At the close of the Gala came the return of the Canadian ice skating pair, who had the crowd clapping and stomping to their energetic ‘Country Hoe Down’ ice routine. Paige Lawrence and Rudi Sweigers, who have their sights set firmly on the 2014 Sochi Olympics, won themselves a stadium full of fans and the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games has just raised the standard in ice sport entertainment.
100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games ice programme continues later this week at the Dunedin Ice Stadium with the ice hockey competition getting underway toady, August 17, 2011.