Eddie Shipstad continues his family's legacy

Members of one of the shows produced by Shipstad Entertainment pose afterwards.
Members of one of the shows produced by Shipstad Entertainment pose afterwards. (Jo Ann Schneider Farris)


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By Jo Ann Schneider Farris, special to
(04/08/2008) - In 1936, some young men who loved to skate and perform founded Shipstads and Johnson Ice Follies. Their names were Eddie Shipstad, Roy Shipstad and Oscar Johnson. The Ice Follies had a rich history. It was the first of the traveling ice shows. Ice Follies was very successful from 1936 to 1979. Some people say that the group revolutionized figure skating.

Seventy years later, Eddie Shipstad's grandson, also named Eddie Shipstad, continues the family skating tradition. He is the owner of Shipstad Entertainment, which produces made-to-order corporate ice shows, holiday parties and new product launches. The company also produces custom figure skating events that can travel anywhere around the world.

The 2008 U.S. pair champions, Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker have performed in Shipstad's show. Other famous skaters who have taken part in Shipstad Entertainment's shows include Olympian Emily Hughes, four-time world champion Kurt Browning, and six-time U.S. and 1996 world champion Todd Eldredge.

Shipstad Entertainment also has taken the time to devote its time and talents to Blades for the Cure, which is an organization devoted to using the talents of national and international figure skaters to raise funds to help figure skating families in need. The first Blades for the Cure show will occur on April 12, 2008. Proceeds will go to help a family in need, and partial proceeds will be going to the American Cancer Society.

As a figure skating competitor, Eddie Shipstad trained in Los Angeles and in Colorado Springs. He qualified for the U.S. National Figures Skating Championships five times. He is a gold medalist in figures and freestyle. He toured as a principle solo skater with Disney's World on Ice. He is now a full-time figure skating coach.

Eddie is not the only skating Shipstad. His wife, Kelly, was a U.S. national figure skating judge before becoming a coach. His daughter, Katie, won the Pre-Juvenile Girls title at the 2008 Southwestern Regional. Katie also competed in the U.S. Junior Championships twice, once in pairs and once in dance. Shipstad's son, Tyler, is a competitive hockey player who travels to Canada every summer to train and compete with Team Northwest in Canmore, and to participate in the Calgary Stampede Tournament. Eddie is related to Jill Shipstad Thomas, who is known for her figure skating choreography. Eddie's father managed the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs and the Blue Jay Ice Castle figure skating training center in Lake Arrowhead, Calif.

Using the moving jump pole harness is an additional talent Eddie Shipstad brings to the ice skating world. The pole harness has almost become a necessity for figure skaters. National and world competitors, such as Ryan Bradley, Jeremy Abbott and Rachael Flatt, have worked with Eddie on the pole jump harness. Unlike the traditional jump harness, the pole harness moves with the skater anywhere on the ice. Shipstad spends endless hours coaching students with the unique figure skating training aid.

The Shipstad family's legacy in figure skating may continue way into the 21st century through Eddie's efforts. He recently joined the full-time coaching staff at the Colorado Springs World Arena and the Broadmoor Skating Club. There, he will pass on his love of the sport to many.