World Arena Ice Hall named as an Olympic training site

The Colorado Springs World Arena Ice Hall has been awarded an official designation as a U.S. Olympic training site for figure skating.

Through a partnership with the U.S. Olympic Committee, U.S. Figure Skating and the World Arena Ice Hall, the seven-year agreement recognizes the quality of the Ice Hall facility and will be a place where elite athletes train in the future. With its new designation, the World Arena Ice Hall will draw more world-class figure skaters to Colorado Springs, officials said when they made the announcement Wednesday.

“The City of Colorado Springs has had a lengthy and rewarding relationship with the USOC and U.S. Figure Skating,” said Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach. “This recognition brings great honor to Colorado Springs and the World Arena Ice Hall.”

Colorado Springs has been home to the USOC since 1978 and a center for international figure skating since the creation of the Broadmoor Skating Club in 1938. The city has hosted numerous international figure skating events, most recently the 2012 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships and the 2010 World Synchronized Figure Skating Championships. It has presented five World Championships, two World Junior Championships, three ISU Skate Americas and six U.S. Championships.

“We’re thrilled to announce the World Arena Ice Hall as a new U.S. Olympic Training Site in partnership with U.S. Figure Skating,” said Scott Blackmun, USOC CEO. “Colorado Springs has a long and storied history of figure skating success and we appreciate the World Arena’s continued support of America’s elite athletes.”

Training centers, such as the World Arena Ice Hall, that have received the U.S. Olympic Training Site designation have invested millions of dollars in facility, operating, staffing, equipment and athlete training costs. The Broadmoor Skating Club, U.S. Figure Skating, world-renowned coaches and the World Arena Ice Hall have a history of producing U.S. champions, such as Rachel Flatt and Ryan Bradley.

The complex is home to dozens of champion figure skaters and coaches, the Broadmoor Skating Club and the NCAA Division I Colorado College men’s hockey team. The World Arena Ice Hall has two sheets of ice — one NHL and one Olympic size —  three jump harnesses, video analysis and a ballet studio.

“It takes strong partnerships, top-rated coaches, elite-level skaters and dedicated staff to earn this designation,” said Dot Lischick, World Arena and Ice Hall general manager.  “We are proud of our ongoing commitment to excellence and the recognition of our efforts by the USOC. We couldn’t do this without the ongoing vision and support of our World Arena board of directors and our local partners – Broadmoor Skating Club and National Strength and Conditioning.”

Bach presented a Spirit of the Springs “Celebrate” Award to U.S. Figure Skating athletes Caydee Denney and John Coughlin, the 2012 U.S. pairs champions.  Denney and Coughlin, who train at the Colorado Springs World Arena Ice Hall, will represent Team USA at the World Championships in Nice, France, beginning March 26.