Jimmy Fund benefit celebrates youth and experience

21 Nov

By Sarah S. Brannen

The 43rd edition of An Evening with Champions at Harvard University in October brought together skating stars of today and yesterday, all for a great cause.

Since 1970, the show, run entirely by Harvard students, has raised more than $2.6 million for the Jimmy Fund to support adult and pediatric cancer research.

The show featured many special moments.

Two-time Olympic pairs champions Ludmila and Oleg Protopopov again won over the audience at the Bright Arena, performing with their signature class and elegance.

“We will continue as long as possible,” Oleg, 81, said.

Current competitors previewed their competitive programs. Rachael Flatt skated her new short program, which she choreographed herself to Barber’s Adagio for Strings. The Haydenettes revealed a new Middle Eastern-themed program to “Ab-i Hayat.” Lynn Kriengkrairut and Logan Giulietti-Schmitt performed their Finnstep short dance.

Nathan Chen, 14, received a huge ovation for his program to “Home” by Phillip Phillips. He landed an easy triple flip and triple Lutz. Joshua Farris included a triple Axel as an encore.

Isabella Cannuscio and Michael Bramante skated to “Ghost,” and Anastasia Cannuscio and Colin McManus performed “Unusual Way.”

2006 World champion Kimmie Meissner’s graceful program included double Axels and a triple toe. Olympic ice dancer Emily Samuelson performed a beautiful and emotional solo number.

Braden Overett provoked gales of laughter as he tangoed with a life-sized doll partner. Shawn Sawyer showed off a backflip and his unique style as a mime. Marissa Castelli and Harrison Choate participated in the Act I of Boston ice theatre number. Yasmin Siraj, The Next Ice Age, Blake Rosenthal, Maria Kalina, Bennet Gottlieb and Team Excel’s senior and collegiate teams also skated.

Emily Hughes and Paul Wylie co-hosted the show. Hughes is now working for the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland, and she said she would be at the Olympics in February.


Emily Samuelson, a 2010 Olympic ice dancer, performs beautiful solo program.(Photo by Sarah Brannen)

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