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Gearing up for U.S. Championships

2008 Winter Carnival buttons unveiled in Saint Paul

Winter Carnival buttons are revealed in Saint Paul, Minn.
Winter Carnival buttons are revealed in Saint Paul, Minn. (Scottie Bibb)

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(12/04/2007) - Four Minnesota-based figure skaters who have qualified for the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, taking place Jan. 20-27, 2008 at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn., unveiled the 2008 Winter Carnival buttons Saturday morning in Saint Paul.

Skaters Eliot Halverson, Molly Oberstar, Kirsten Olson and Rohene Ward were on the ice at the Wells Fargo Winter Skate rink to reveal the four buttons.

The set of four buttons, designed by College of Visual Arts student Sean Murphy, feature designs of figure skaters. The images are a nod to the U.S. Championships, which will overlap with the 12-day carnival, which runs from Jan. 23-Feb. 3 in Saint Paul's downtown Rice Park.

Coverage of the 2008 U.S. Championships will be provided by NBC Sports and icenetwork.com.

NBC Television Schedule (all times are Eastern)

Jan. 26: 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.: Pairs Free Skate

Jan. 26: 8 p.m. - 11 p.m.: Free Dance/Ladies Free Skate

Jan. 27: 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.: Men's Free Skate

Feb. 2: 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.: Skating Spectacular (taped on Jan. 27)

Icenetwork.com will broadcast all the novice and junior events live, and will provide both live and on-demand coverageof the senior events.

For competitors, the road to the U.S. Championships each year begins with the U.S. Figure Skating qualifying structure of nine regional and three sectional championships. Skaters who place in the top four at regionals qualify for sectionals; skaters who place in the top four at sectionals qualify for the U.S. Championships.

Single-session ticket prices for the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships range from $12-$177, depending on the event. All-event and championship weekend ticket packages for the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships are on sale now at the Xcel Energy Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, charge by phone at (651) 989-5151 or online at Ticketmaster. For group ticket information, call (651) 312-3486. All-event ticket packages start at $295.

The U.S. Figure Skating Championships, held annually since 1914, is the nation's most prestigious figure skating event. The event will crown 12 national champions in ladies, men's, pairs and ice dancing on the senior, junior and novice levels. The eight-day event is expected to draw more than 125,000 fans and have an economic impact in excess of $30 million.