Skating Champs Visit Hometeam - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Skating Champs Visit Hometeam

CLEVELAND - Figure skating is one of the world's most-watched sports, and this week Cleveland is playing host to some of the world's best skaters as the "John Hancock Champions on Ice 2001" tour comes to Gund Arena.

Two of the skaters, raining men's national champion Timothy Goebel and world silver medallist Irena Slutskaya, paid a visit to the Hometeam 19 studios Wednesday.

Goebel, who used to train in Cleveland, said that it feels great to come back to the Rock and Roll City.

"It's nice to come home, and to see my old friends," Goebel said. "It's just a good feeling to skate in my old training center. I have had a lot of success at Gund Arena, especially."

Russia's Slutskaya told Hometeam News' Cynthia Barnes that there is no animosity between her and on-ice rival Michelle Kwan.

"We're friends," Slutskaya said. "Lots of people think that we fight everywhere, but we just fight on the ice, and not in real life. It's interesting practicing with her because I can learn from her. It's interesting to see what she can do."

Both Goebel and Slutskaya will be among the favorites to make their respective Olympic teams next year.

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