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Figure Skaters in St. Louis 

What would Brian Boitano do?

The Olympic Games start in just a few weeks (on Friday, February 10, to be exact), and assuming you aren't making the transatlantic flight to Torino, Italy, this is your last chance to see the athletes of one of the games' most elegant sports: curling. No, of course we're talking about figure skating. When done with precision and elegance, figure skating looks deceptively simple. "I could do that," you think, your eyes rolling at the television screen. "Just without all those sequins and eyeliner." It'll take about five minutes into your next open-skate session at Steinberg rink to realize the egregious error in your thinking.

A week of competition — including men's and women's individual events, pairs and dance — wraps on Saturday and Sunday (January 14 and 15) with the 2006 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships. And this isn't some namby-pamby ice-capade show. This competition features skaters you've actually heard of (such as the lovely Sasha Cohen and the dynamic Johnny Weir) battling it out for spots on this year's Olympic team. The Senior Men's and Women's Free Skates take place at 1 and 6 p.m. today, and the Exhibition of Champions gets under way at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Savvis Center (South 14th Street and Clark Avenue). Tickets for the various events are $25 to $85; call 314-241-1888 or visit www.stlouis2006.com for more information.
Sat., Jan. 14; Sun., Jan. 15

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