Press Release

U.S. Figure Skating announces 2011 film project

Documentary to commemorate 1961 world team tragedy

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(12/09/2009) - Colorado Springs, Colo. -- U.S. Figure Skating announced today plans for a documentary film project that will celebrate American figure skating while honoring the 1961 World Team that perished in a tragic plane crash. The film will also be used to further the mission of U.S. Figure Skating's Memorial Fund, which was established in memory of the 1961 team to support U.S. skaters.

"U.S. Figure Skating has a great history, and through this film we will have the opportunity to share it with audiences around the country, and the world," said Patricia St. Peter, president of U.S. Figure Skating. "As we approach the 50th anniversary of the loss of the 1961 World Team, we are undertaking this film project to preserve the memory of those who have influenced generations of American figure skaters."

After an extensive search, U.S. Figure Skating has commissioned Lookalike Productions to produce the film. Founded in 2002 by twin sisters Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern, Lookalike has earned 16 Emmy Awards for its television and film productions.

"We believe Lookalike Productions is the right choice for sharing these important stories and effectively communicating the impact these individuals had on the world of figure skating," said David Raith, executive director of U.S. Figure Skating.

Research and planning have begun for the film, with production scheduled to begin in early 2010. The projected release date of February 2011 coincides with and commemorates the 50th anniversary of the U.S. World Team tragedy.

"We are honored to be chosen to produce this celebration of American skating," Lax said. "One of the most remarkable things about sport is its ability to fulfill the dreams of both athlete and spectator."

"This will be a film that focuses on an equally central and essential truth: One person's dreams can be fulfilled by another's," Stern said. "The dreams interrupted on Feb. 15, 1961, have not gone unfulfilled, they are realized by all who share them -- and give rise to the dreams of generations to come."

This will not be uncharted territory for Lookalike, as its past projects have led it to work with some of the most decorated skaters in U.S. Figure Skating history, such as 1968 Olympic champion Peggy Fleming.

"Their passion for accuracy on every subject they choose is obvious, but, most important, they understand how to take an audience on an emotional journey," Fleming said. "I am proud to have been one of their subjects as well as a colleague."