The Inside Edge with Sarah and Drew

Skaters offer their biggest celebrity crushes for Valentine's Day

One of Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov's favorite Valentine's Day memories was skating at the 2006 Olympics soon after their fifth anniversary.
One of Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov's favorite Valentine's Day memories was skating at the 2006 Olympics soon after their fifth anniversary. (Getty Images)


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By Sarah S. Brannen & Drew Meekins, special to
(02/13/2009) -'s intrepid reporters, Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins, write a Valentine's Day version of the Inside Edge.

Valentine's Day

As you may recall, we observed Friday the 13th with superstitions, Halloween with costumes, and New Year's Eve with resolutions. Despite some ribbing about whether our blog would be observing Groundhog Day (no), we simply cannot let Valentine's Day bear down upon us without mentioning it. In honor of the day of too many hearts and too much chocolate, and ignoring the fact that it's Friday the 13th again today, we asked some skaters who their dream valentines would be. Looks like Robert Pattinson and Jessica Alba could date the figure skater of their choice.

Skaters' Celebrity Crushes
Adam Rippon: Nastia Liukin.
Melissa Gregory: Patrick Swayze.
Denis Petukhov: Marilyn Monroe.
Keauna McLaughlin: Robert Pattinson.
Rockne Brubaker: Paz Vega. She is my number one choice.
Alexe Gilles: Chace Crawford.
Brandon Mroz: Jessica Alba. She is a babe.
Meryl Davis: Robert Pattinson. I loved him in Harry Potter and have already seen Twilight three times.
Charlie White: I would have to go with Jessica Alba. Among the obvious reasons, I like her because of how down to earth she is.
Caitlin Yankowskas, with a twofer: Robert Pattinson AND Chace Crawford.
John Coughlin: Rachel McAdams.
Ryan Bradley: Beyoncé.
Emily Samuelson: Currently James McAvoy, though Johnny Depp and Matthew Macfadyen are definitely still up there!
Evan Bates: I am not embarrassed to admit that I have a very big crush on Yu-Na Kim. I'm glad this will get publicized, as it will increase my chances.
Michael Chau: Keira Knightley.
• Laura Lepzinski: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, aka Zack Morris from Saved by the Bell. He's not my celeb crush in person, just in his role as Zack!
Jeremy Barrett: I would have to say Amanda Evora (because if I don't, I will be sleeping on the couch)!
Eliot Halverson: JK Rowling.
• Sarah: Not Robert Pattinson. Hugh Jackman.
• Drew: Michelle Kwan. Classic. Obvious. Inimitable.


When our thoughts turned to Valentine's Day this week, they naturally alighted on the happy couple of Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov. An injury in the fall of 2007 has taken them out of competition since, but they're still skating and lately, they've been busy with their video project, "Olympian Uncut."

We missed them at the 2009 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships last month. Did they watch?

"Yes, we did watch nationals! There were some very exciting moments. Congratulations to all the champions, you guys were great! Nationals is always very emotional and lots of fun. We missed our fans a lot and can't wait to get out there again!"

Melissa and Denis also noted that there were a lot of new names and faces in the dance event, which is certainly true. We wondered if they had a favorite memory from past championships.

"One of our favorite memories is 2007, when we got the PSA best performance award for our Adam & Eve free dance. That was very cool and memorable."

So, do they have any special plans for Valentine's Day?

"Yes, we have plans to go to New York City and spend the day with famous celebrity hair designer Ricardo Rojas. He is going to do our hair, and then we are going to take him skating in Central Park! It should be lots of fun.

They will be filming the events of the day for their channel,

Do they have any favorite Valentine's Day memories?

"Our favorite Valentine's Day was at the Olympics in Torino in 2006. It was after we celebrated our fifth anniversary on Feb 2. We were on the Today Show; they did a special Valentine's piece on us. That was very special, exciting, and something that we will always remember!"

And last, what's the most romantic music they can think of to skate to?

"'Romeo & Juliet' was one of our favorite romantic pieces."

Perfect. Of course.

Rubber chicken

And now for something completely different ... if you were wondering why Caroline Zhang was calmly holding a rubber chicken in the Kiss and Cry after her free skate at the ISU Four Continents Championships, well, so were we! She tells us that his name is "Bob the Chicken." The U.S. Team was passing him around all week, tossing him on the ice for Alissa Czisny and Jeremy Abbott as well. We are still trying to find out why, exactly ...

Jury Duty

Speaking of Jeremy, he had a tough return to reality on Tuesday, when he had to report to jury duty at 7 in the morning. He came as close to being empaneled as possible, being the last person excused from the jury. All in all, he spent more than four hours at the courthouse, but he was able to get in some reading.

Coming soon to a rink near you, if you live in Boston...

We got advance word from the organizers of Ice Chips, the Skating Club of Boston's annual show, that their special guest star at this year's shows will be 2008 world champion Jeffrey Buttle and 2009 U.S. champion Alissa Czisny. We'll be at the show, blogging away, on April 4 and 5 at Harvard's Bright Arena. Until then, there's more information at, or call 617-782-5900. Emily Hughes, Stephen Carriere, Katrina Hacker, Curran Oi, Brittney Rizo and Ross Miner are also scheduled to appear.


Our congratulations and best wishes to Kristy Swanson and Lloyd Eisler, who met on the TV show Skating with Celebrities and were married on Saturday in San Luis Obispo, Calif. According to People Magazine, Kristy wore a dress by Amy Michelson and shoes by Carmen Steffens, and Lloyd wore a tux by Nicole Miller. And Lloyd's cell phone went off during the ceremony. And Kristy fell down the stairs. All of which is no doubt good luck for their marriage! We wish them the best.

And on that note, Happy Valentine's Day to all,
Sarah and Drew

Sarah's pictures from the AT&T U.S. Championships are posted on her Web site: