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Friday, July 9, 2004


Sun Valley scores Olympic gold medalist for upcoming ice show

Alexei Yagudin replaces Sale and Pelletier

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 David Pelletier.

Sun Valley ice show producer Rainer Kolb remarked, "You can’t replace them with anyone bigger. We feel really good to have him."

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 August.

"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.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.