Local ‘Sweepers’ Get Ice Time During US Figure Skating Championships

Local ‘Sweepers’ Get Ice Time During US Figure Skating Championships


MAYBE THEY WANT TO KNOW. GRADE? THEY WANT TO TALK TO NON- CHOPPERS, TOO. DIANA SAYS, THERE WILL COME ANYTIME. IN FACT, IF THEY GAVE ME AN HOUR WARNING I WOULD HAVE FRESH- BAKED COOKIES FOR THEM. MAYBE WE COULD COME. THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WILL BE PACKING THE X TO WATCH THE BEST FIGURE SKATERS IN ST. PAUL THIS WEEKEND. BUT, SOME YOUNG FIGURE SKATING FANS HAVE THE BEST VIEW IN THE HOUSE. SKATERS THAT YOU SEE GRABBING FLOWERS AFTER PERFORMANCES ARE ALL LOCAL. BECOMING A SWEEPER ISN’T EASY, IT TAKES A LOT OF TALENT AND A LOT OF LUCK. SO AMAZING. [ APPLAUSE ] I GET TO PICK UP ALL OF THE THINGS AND SEE ALL OF MY FAVORITE SKATERS. Reporter: AVA IS ONE OF 50 SWEEPERS AT THIS YEAR’S U.S.’S FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIP. THEY GRAB ANY FLOWERS OR STUFFED ANIMALS THROWN FOR THE PROS. I FEEL LIKE I’M FREE EVERY TIME I STEP ON THE ICE. Reporter: BECOMING A SWEEPER ISN’T EASY. FIRST, YOU MUST BE UNDER 13 BUT NOT SO YOUNG THAT YOU CAN’T PASS THE SKATING TESTS. THERE HAS TO BE A CERTAIN LEVEL OF SKATING. Reporter: THEY ARE ALL LOCAL WHICH MEANS THIS OPPORTUNITY USUALLY ONLY COMES AROUND ONCE. THE LAST TIME THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS WERE IN MINNESOTA WAS 2008. THERE WAS A DRAWING FOR ANYBODY IN THE TWIN CITIES. IF YOU QUALIFY, YOU ENTER THE LOTTERY AND WEIGHT. FOR LYDIA, THAT CALL WAS A DREAM COME TRUE. I WAS THE ONE THAT WAS PICKED. I WAS SUPER EXCITED, I JUST SAID, I WANT TO GO HOME AND SKATE AND PRACTICE FOR IT. Reporter: THEY HAVE A FEW PRACTICES TO SKATE WHILE OTHERS ARE WARMING UP. THEN THERE ON THE ICE WITH THEIR IDOLS. TO BE ABLE TO SEE THEM SKATE AT A BIG ARENA LIKE THE XCEL CENTER, IT’S VERY REWARDING. WHAT YOU THINK OF THE ICE? EVERYBODY SAYS IT IS GOOD ICE. IT’S REALLY NICE. Reporter: COLLECTING GIFTS FOR THE CHAMPIONS UNTIL ONE DAY THE FLOWERS ARE FOR THEM. I WANT TO BE AN OLYMPIC CHAMPION. A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE GOING TO TELL YOU, YOU CAN’T DO THIS. YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO DO THAT. YOU NEED TO OVERCOME THAT FEELING, AND PROVE THEM WRONG. I LOVE THAT! THEY ARE SO CUTE BUT THEY ARE SO WELL SPOKEN FOR BEING 10, 11 YEARS OLD. I’M EXCITED. I LOVE SEEING THEM SO EXCITED. THEY ARE. ONE OF THE THINGS YOU MAY HAVE HEARD IS THAT THE ICE IS INCREDIBLE. THIS IS ICE FOR THE BEST SKATERS IN THE COUNTRY. THEY ARE USED TO A LITTLE BIT

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