Sun Valley scores Olympic gold medalist
for upcoming ice show
Alexei Yagudin replaces Sale and
By JODY ZARKOS
Express Staff Writer
Alexei Yagudin, the 2002 Olympic gold
medallist in men’s singles, will perform in the Sun Valley Ice Show this
Saturday, July 10. Yagudin replaces 2002 gold pairs’ medalist Jamie Salé and
Sun Valley ice show producer Rainer Kolb
remarked, "You can’t replace them with anyone bigger. We feel really good to
Alexei Yagudin will skate in Sun
Valley Saturday, July 10.
The Canadian duo was scheduled to skate in
Sun Valley shows on July 3, 4 and 10, but a work visa snafu forced the pair to
drop out of their slated performances at the last minute. Flying to Sun Valley
from Vancouver last Friday, U.S. Immigration officials at the Vancouver, B.C.,
International Airport told the pair they did not have the appropriate work visas
to perform in the United States.
Hoping their lawyer could clear up the
problem in time to skate, Salé and Pelletier flew to the Valley at their own
cost on Saturday and stayed overnight at the Sun Valley Lodge. But to no avail
as the issue was not resolved.
In their place, three-time world silver
medalist Surya Bonaly appeared in two shows over the Fourth of July holiday.
"Surya was wonderful. The crowd really
enjoyed her," Kolb said. Bonaly will return to the Sun Valley ice on July 17.
Kolb added Salé and Pelletier wanted to
perform this Saturday, but "they both are still having visa problems. We don’t
know what the problems are, but their immigration lawyer is working on it."
Kolb said if Salé and Pelletier work out
their work visa issues the popular pair might possibly perform in Sun Valley in
"We are working on that right now. We have
a tentative weekend open later in August, but we have to see. It is all in their
hands," he said.
In the meantime, Sun Valley audiences can
enjoy one of the best male skaters in the world.
The 24-year old Yagudin is a four-time
World Champion and three-time European champ. When he won the Olympic gold medal
in 2002, Yagudin received four perfect 6.0s in artistry, something no other man
has ever accomplished in the Olympics.
"He is the complete package," Kolb said.
"He is incredibly artistic and an incredible jumper. A superb show skater. I was
very lucky he agreed on such short notice."
Yagudin turned professional in November
2003 and is currently touring with Smucker’s Stars on Ice and HSBC Stars on Ice.
He is also slated to perform in Sun Valley on Aug. 14.