Planet News Archive ...
... for the week of Feb. 19 - 25, 2006
(Feb. 20, 2006)
New Faces Vital to Team Rollerblade - Rollerblade team faces two big challenges in the World Inline Cup this year. The first is how to hold its own against the mighty new Salomon team. The second is how to fill the void left by the defection of the rising French star Alexis Contin. (Go to the Planet story.)
(Feb. 21, 2006)
She's Got the Moves - English freestyle champ Naomi Grigg will be crossing the big pond again this year to share her wizardry with America. Grigg is a master of cone and slalom skating. She is also a gifted teacher. Her 2-day clinic, Intro to Freestyle, starts Aug. 5th in Seattle. (Go to the event web site.) (Go to the event calendar.)
Bush Tries Again to Phase Out P.E. Grants - The Bush administration is once again trying to eliminate the Carol E. White Physical Education Program (PEP). The program provides schools with grants to buy athletic equipment and has served as an important source of funding for Rollerblade's Skate in School initiative. The administration's suggested 2007 budget proposes phasing out the program by 2008. Congress rejected a similar administration proposal last year. (Go to SGMA press release.)
(Feb. 22, 2006)
U.S. Racer Faces Long Recovery - One of USA's top inline speed skaters is facing an uncertain future after suffering multiple fractures in a work accident. Bret Whitman, winner of last year's St. Paul Inline Marathon, fell from a two-story roof on Monday. (Go to the Planet story.) (Feb. 22, 2006)
On the Forum
Reader Poll: Shani or Chad? - Who's right ... Shani or Chad? Or are they both showing sides of themselves we'd rather not see? (Go to the Forum poll.)
(Feb. 23, 2006)
Parra Hangs Up His Skates - After a long career that catapulted him to the top of both of the inline and ice speed skating worlds, Derek Parra is retiring. The 36-year-old California native made the announcement Tuesday after skating his final event, the 1500 meters, of the Torino Winter Games. Parra finished 19th. Four years earlier in Salt Lake City, he won gold in the 1500 meters and silver in 5000 meters. "It's been a great journey," he said. "But I've got to try to move on." (Go to San Antonio Express News story.) (Feb. 23, 2006)
(Feb. 24, 2006)
Spoiler Alert! ... Hedrick's Final Race in Torino - Chad Hedrick finished (CENSORED) in today's 10,000 meters in Torino. The event left the former inline champion with (CENSORED) medals. So what is the 28-year-old Texan going to do next? That's censored, too, for the benefit of TV viewers who don't want the ending given away before they see it for themselves. (But if you're ready for the factoids, go to the Planet story.)
Weather Can't Dampen New Marathon - The weather gods don't appear to be smiling on the inaugural Mardi Gras Marathon. Rain and scattered thunderstorms are predicted tomorrow for Lafayette, La., where the marathon starts at 7 a.m. But organizers aren't discouraged. "We may not have a big turnout this year," Peggy Chiasson said. "But we have received lots of offers to help promote the event next year." And besides, she added, "some skaters said they are bringing some scuba gear. So who knows, it might not be so bad after all." (Go to event web site.) (Feb. 24, 2006)
California Rink to Close Doors - Unless a solution can be found, the Davis Indoor Sports Center will close its doors for good on March 31st. The privately owned rink has proved popular with hockey players and inline skaters. But despite efforts to diversify, the owners haven't been able to sell enough tickets to stay in business. The rink is large (about 33,000 square-feet) and sits along Interstate 80, about 30 miles west of Sacramento. (Go to Davis Enterprise story.)
Skate Bytes ...
Teammates select former inline skater Joey Cheek to carry the U.S. flag during closing ceremonies in Turin. ... The 3rd annual Spokane Centennial Trail Skate is set for July 30th. The event in Spokane Valley, Wash., includes a marathon and 10K. ... The Tour to Tanglewood is scheduled for Sept. 9-10. The bike and skate tour raises money for multiple sclerosis.
(Feb. 25, 2006)
Colombian Wins Season's First Marathon - Colombian champion Julian Rivera pulled away from the pack near the finish line to win today's Mardi Gras Marathon in Lafayette, La. U.S. junior world team member Courtney Bellais won the women's race. (Go to the Planet story.)