Inside Edge with Sarah and Drew

Jason Wong, Naomi Nari Nam and Lindsey Weber pose together.
Jason Wong, Naomi Nari Nam and Lindsey Weber pose together. (courtesy of Lindsey Weber)


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By Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins, special to
(05/21/2008) -'s behind-the-scenes reporters Sarah Brannen and Drew Meekins catch us up on some figure skating news, from "Superstars on Ice" to an update on Naomi Nari Nam.

Stars at the Skatium

Our roving reporter, Scott Smith, skated in "Superstars on Ice" at the Skatium in Skokie, Ill., last Tuesday. The sold-out show featured Mirai Nagasu, Rachael Flatt, Kimberly Meissner, Alissa Czisny, Yuka Sato, Evan Lysacek, Johnny Weir, Todd Eldredge, Emanuel Sandhu, Steven Cousins, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, acrobats Vladimir Besedin and Oleksiy Polishchuk and, of course, Scott.

"It's a really well-run show," said Scott. "A lot of people from the club are so excited to have all these great skaters come. It sold out really fast."

Johnny performed his new exhibition number to "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone, in a subdued Versace outfit. Fans swooned over his new dance moves. Evan did the Michael Jackson number he has been performing since February, in a decidedly un-subdued costume by those fashion bad boys, Heatherette.

Scott reports that Alissa has switched from hinged skates to standard SP Teri's, which is interesting. Reports on the hinged skates are mixed, with some loving them and others somewhat dubious. We'll look forward to seeing how Alissa skates in her new footwear.

Steven Cousins said he has been dividing his time between Canada and Russia, where his new baby lives with his mother, Olympic champion Elena Berezhnaya.

Tanith and Ben skated a new program to "Falling Slowly." Is that a funny thing for a skater to perform to? We can't wait to see it. Scott also put in his two cents on Tanith's new haircut: "It's quite a bit shorter -- not short like mine, but not even down to her shoulders!"

Scott enjoyed spending a little time with some of the very young new stars. "Mirai and Rachel were doing their math homework in the dressing room, with their calculators out," said Scott. "They seem like really nice kids. And the Russian acrobats were awesome."

Naomi Nam News

Naomi Nari Nam used to be a FAQ. Between 1999, when she finished second to Michelle Kwan at the U.S. championships, and her reappearance at the 2006 State Farm U.S. Championships as a pair skater (with Themistocles Leftheris), she had such a low profile that the question "Whatever happened to NNN?" was a regular posting on skating message boards.

In fact, a lot of fans thought the news that she was coming back to competitive skating as a pair skater was a hoax. But it wasn't, and Naomi rapidly returned to her former status as a fan favorite. A bad hip injury pulled her and Themi out of competition last season, although they were able to compete at the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, finishing seventh.

Drew trained with Naomi and Themi for a few weeks in March, and we thought her fans would enjoy a little update. We asked her about her health, her skating, and her sunglasses.

Question: Did you know you used to be a FAQ?
Answer: No, I didn't know. I don't really follow or read message boards about myself.

Q: Smart girl. How's your hip?
A: My hip is doing great, and it feels stronger and stronger every day. I still have to monitor my skating, but it has actually worked in my favor because the quality and technique has gotten better.

Q: What are your plans and hopes for next season?
A: We hope to get some Grand Prix events this year, but that really depends on how we skate at our monitor competition. So cross your fingers for us!! We just finished choreographing our short, and I absolutely love it and can't wait to perform it! Our long is in the works as we speak.

Q: What was the hardest thing about pair skating for you?
A: The hardest thing to learn was lifts. You have to be strong and firm up there, and it took a lot of practice to perfect them. I still get sore from time to time.

Q: What has been your worst moment in pair skating so far?
A: I've been dropped -- hit my head a few times and cut -- and that's never fun, but it kind of comes with skating.

Q: What's your favorite place to shop in L.A.?
A: I like Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom; they have great sales!! I don't like buying brand names, and if I do, it's cause I got it off of eBay or at an outlet. I love finding a bargain; you can purchase so many more things!

Q: What's your most prized keepsake?
A: I still have my baby blanket.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Shoes! Anything under $100, of course.

Q: How many pairs of sunglasses do you own?
A: I've gone through about 25. I have the worst luck with sunglasses... I've learned that the cheap ones at gas stations work best for me, because then I don't feel so bad if I break or lose them.

Q: What's always in your refrigerator?
A: Soy milk, O.J., frozen yogurt, hot sauce.

Q: What are you listening to on your iPod?
A: I don't own an iPod! I do have a shuffle for working out. I'm listening to it now, and the last three songs I listened to are "Shadow of the Day" by Linkin Park, "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson, "Matter of Time" by Cartel.

Q: What will you be doing on April 1, 2018?
A: Probably playing an April Fool's joke on my husband and/or kids. :)

News from Germany

We have heard a substantial rumor that the world pairs champions from Germany, Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, will be skating to music from Schindler's List for their long program next season. Interesting, isn't it?

The Pair Skater: Episode 5

Coming later this week. Really. We promise.

Until then,
Sarah and Drew

To contact Sarah and Drew, you can e-mail them them at