A host of renowned figure skaters will descend on the greater Washington area this weekend for the ninth annual Ice Champions Live! hosted by the Michael Weiss Foundation.
Weiss, of McLean, is a three-time U.S figure skating champion and two-time Olympic bronze medalist.
year, Weiss and his mother, Margie, organize the Ice Champions Live!
event in hopes of raising up to $100,000 to award to aspiring skaters
with dreams of competing in the Olympics or other high-level contests.
Volunteers help put on the actual event.
To date, Margie Weiss
estimates the foundation has awarded close to $500,000 in scholarships
to young skaters — money that can be used for equipment or training or
costumes or whatever is necessary. Scholarships will be awarded in
December, just in time for the U.S. championship contest in January,
which will determine who competes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
So far, at least two scholarship winners have gone on to compete in the Olympics.
"It would've been nice if Michael could've had something like this," said Margie Weiss, a personal trainer,
also of McLean. "If you're handed something like $5,000, that's a
substantial amount of money. That can really help you that year. That
can make a difference. Because these parents sacrifice so much. We ate
hot dogs forever."
Ice Champions Live! will feature a number
of Olympic and world champions, including Katia Gordeeva of Russia,
Kimmie Meissner of Baltimore and Ryan Bradley of Colorado, along with
several local skaters, including Luca and Gigi Becker, a brother-sister
ice dance team from Bethesda, Md.
This year's show also will
feature a special performance by Weiss, who will skate while his
daughter sings a song she wrote and composed. His daughter, Annie Mae
Weiss, is a sophomore at Langley High School in McLean.
Ice Champions Live! will be at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel, Md. The event has been at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington for the last several years.
range from $20 to $50, and the event will also feature a silent
auction. The venue features about 630 seats, 100 of which are right on
"The nice thing about it is, it's a small area,"
Margie Weiss told Patch. "Normally when you see Olympic gold medalists,
you pay $100 and you're in the nosebleeds. Here, you have 100 seats and
they're on the ice. You get to see these skaters go by. And they're
really, really fast."
The pro performers are donating their time, and they will stay with the Weisses in McLean.
Weiss said her son received a cash prize when he won the national
championship, but by then it was too late. He needed the money a year or
two earlier when he couldn't buy skates.
And so, the Michael
Weiss Foundation allows him to give back to the sport that is his
passion and, ideally, help young skaters along the way.
really good at picking talent each year," Margie Weiss said. "These
kids have done very well. It allows us to give back to the athletes."
For more information, or for tickets, visit http://www.michaelweiss.org.