Columbus collaborates. It’s part of what makes our city great. That collaborative spirit gets put on display when our community works together to host major sporting events. There are quite a few on tap for 2024. Up first: the Prevagen U.S. Figure Skating Championships. The Sports Commission worked with several community partners to help spread the word about the first time this historic event came to Columbus.  


Greater Columbus Arts Council 

It all started here. The Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) awarded a grant to the Greater Columbus Sports Commission to involve local artists in the Championships. We are incredibly appreciative of the support and are excited to bring several special touches to figure skating fans, athletes and officials through these funds. Monies from the grant went towards many of the initiatives below. 


Columbus Metropolitan Library 

We partnered with Columbus Metropolitan Library for a month-long celebration of figure skating. Most notably the creation of Sockefeller Center at Main Library, that featured a synthetic ice rink and a memorabilia display from the U.S. Figure Skating archives. Additionally, two figure skaters turned authors - Nancy Kerrigan and Gracie Gold – will make appearances in late January.  
>> Learn more 

Sock skating at the library


Phoenix Rising Printmaking Cooperative 

Supported by GCAC Grant
Phoenix Rising is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the art of printmaking. After working with them during the NHL All-Star Game in 2015, we asked for their help to create limited edition prints for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. They put a call out to their members and six artists submitted designs inspired by figure skating and Columbus. A panel of judges from U.S. Figure Skating and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission chose three winning designs. Each one was created digitally, then carved into a mounted linoleum. The inked block is used to transfer the image onto paper using a vintage Vandercook Press. These prints will be signed by the artists and presented to Local Organizing Committee members and representatives from other community organizations. Titles of each print and the artist's name and Instagram handles are listed below.
>> Learn More

Making Stardust (left) by Peter White | @pkatprints

Stars in Columbus (top right) by Karen Albanese Campbell | @petersmadre

Edge of Light (lower right) by Judith Steele | @jcsteele614


Phoenix Rising Printmaking Cooperative Final Prints - USFS Champs



Gabby Anderson 

Supported by GCAC Grant
Pictured above, Gabby Anderson is an artist and athlete from Columbus. She has been painting custom sneakers for athletes for several years, so we reached out to her to paint ice skates. Working with our staff to create a list of source material, she designed and hand-painted 10 skates. Some were inspired by the life and career of specific skaters including Jason Brown, Brian Boitano and Timothy LeDuc. Others were inspired by Columbus landmarks and features or community organizations like the Columbus Metropolitan Library. The skates are currently on display at Main Library.  
>> Watch the Video 


Columbus Symphony Orchestra

An ensemble featuring six Columbus Symphony Orchestra (CSO) members will perform live during the Prevagen Skating Spectacular on Sunday, Jan. 28 at Nationwide Arena. The ensemble will share a unique collaboration with Jason Brown, a two-time Olympian and 2015 U.S. national champion, when they perform excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s “Souvenir de Florence” live for Brown’s routine during the Skating Spectacular at 7:30 p.m. The performance will help conclude Columbus’ first time hosting the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. 

Additionally, CSO members and a vocalist will perform the National Anthem on the final day of the 2024 Prevagen U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Arthur Marks will sing the National Anthem accompanied by Concertmaster and violinist, Joanna Frankel; violinist Alicia Hui; viola players Karl Pedersen and Ken Matsuda; and cellists Wendy Morton and Pei-An Chao prior to the Championship men’s Free Skate at 2:50 p.m. 

Columbus Fashion Alliance 

Supported by GCAC Grant
The Fashion Alliance is a nonprofit collective of creatives passionate about the fashion industry in Columbus. Their goal is to support the creation and growth of creatives and fashion-based businesses. We sought their support to design a gift to present to skaters. They sourced local artists to design a scarf that will be worn around the necks of athletes along with their medals at the conclusion of their event. Two local artists presented designs. A panel of judges selected Reese Whitaker's design (seen below) as the winner. We hope the scarf will be a unique keepsake to commemorate a career highlight. 

USFS Champs Scarf Front


Columbus College of Art & Design 

Supported by GCAC Grant
With Columbus' growing reputation as a fashion hub, we wanted to do something special at the crossroads of fashion and figure skating. Along with U.S. Figure Skating, we began working with the Columbus College of Art & Design, one of the nation’s leading art and design schools. The concept was for a local designer to create a skater’s on-ice outfit at the Championships. The staff at the college identified recent graduate and emerging fashion designer Austin Tootle. U.S. Figure Skating selected 2023 Women's National Champion Isabeau Levito as the skater. Tootle and Levito worked collaboratively for six months on designing a dress to fit her music and routine. You can see the result for the first time on ice at the Prevagen Skating Spectacular on Sunday, January 28 at 7:30 p.m.
>> Learn more


OhioHealth Chillers 

Our collaboration with the Chillers was centered around a SkateFest at the Chiller Easton in August. Local coaches volunteered their time to teach more than 100 skaters of various ages and abilities over two sessions. The first was a learn-to-skate program for people new to the ice and the second was focused on intermediate skaters. SkateFest invitees included graduates from our Youth Camp, Columbus City Schools students and others. Olympic Champion Brian Boitano and Olympian Jason Brown helped coach and encourage skaters. Additionally, the Ice Haus is serving as the practice facility throughout the Championships and the Chiller North will host the U.S. Figure Skating Development Camp January 29-31.


Columbus Downtown Development Corporation 

The Columbus Downtown Development Corporation oversees Columbus Commons and the Scioto Mile. We wanted to promote the event at these two amazing outdoor spaces, each with a bustling schedule of events. The partnership included sharing information on the screens at Columbus Commons, distributing marketing materials at events and use of figure skating themed lawn games. 


Stonewall Columbus Pride Parade & Festival

Supported by GCAC Grant
Figure Skating made a mark on Columbus Pride, the largest Pride celebration in the Midwest. As a Pride sponsor, we had local figure skating club members march in the parade alongside talented entertainers on stilts or roller blades from Just Be Incredible. We brought Path to the Podium, an interactive fan activation that allowed attendees to test their vertical jump height, to the festival. Timothy LeDuc, the first nonbinary athlete to compete in the Winter Olympics, flew to Columbus to skate through the parade and sign autographs at the Festival. 

Figure skater Timothy LeDuc skating at Columbus Pride festival 2023


Ohio Figure Skating Clubs 

Like many sports, figure skating grows at the grassroots level with coaches and youth participation. We are fortunate to have so many passionate people dedicated to the sport that have been there since the beginning of our efforts to bring this event to Columbus. Once we secured the date, they have been front and center promoting the Championships in many ways. Leaders from many local clubs joined our official Club Committee, to coordinate efforts to host the Championships. We distributed physical and digital marketing toolkits to Figure Skating and Learn to Skate Clubs around Ohio. Rinks in all parts of the state displayed posters and flyers to promote the Championships. We also offered key volunteering positions to members of local skating clubs. 


City of Dublin 

We took figure skating to the massive Dublin Irish Festival in August. Our booth at the event had a prize wheel and the Path to the Podium activation. Appearing here gave us the chance to get in front of tens of thousands of potential fans. Additionally, the U.S. Figure Skating Championships logo can be seen at the city's outdoor ice rink at Bridge Park. 


Rock on Ice 

Supported by GCAC Grant
Rock on Ice, a Columbus-based ice sculpture company, we’ve worked with at other major events, will be helping us again at the Championships. Their artists will be creating ice sculptures on Battelle Plaza on Saturday, January 27 between skating sessions. That includes a live ice carving demonstration. 


Special Olympics and National Veterans Memorial Museum 

In partnership with U.S. Figure Skating, the Greater Columbus Sports Commission has partnered with the National Veterans Memorial Museum and Special Olympics Ohio to recognize these groups at the championships. A group of veterans will be offered free entry to the Championships on Thursday, January 25 while a group of Special Olympic athletes will be offered free entry on Friday, January 26. 


The Lincoln Theatre 

The Lincoln Theatre is hosting Breaking the Ice: Exploring Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Figure Skating, a panel discussion hosted by U.S. Figure Skating DEI Director, Kadari Taylor-Watson. The panelists, including founders of diverse ice-skating programs, coaches, choreographers, parents, athletes, and officials, will share their unique experiences and insights on advancing DEI within the sport. The Theatre also helped secure national anthem singers and an artist to create a skating-themed postcard. 
>> Register For Breaking the Ice