Planet News Archive ...

... for the week of March 12 - 18, 2006

(March 13, 2006)
Bret Whitman Undergoes Surgery
thumbnail of Bret WhitmanSurgeons used three screws, a steel rod and a metal plate Saturday to repair inline racer Bret Whitman's left foot. Whitman injured his feet in a work accident three weeks ago in Florida. "The objective of the surgery was to avoid fusing any bones together to preserve range of motion," said his business partner Chal Love. Whitman will be off his feet for the next three months. His right foot is in a cast. Skaters have donated $2449 to his medical fund. (Go to Planet story about the accident.)

Skate Bytes ...
The town of Dyer, Ind., has already banned bicycles in parks. Now it wants to add skates to the ban. The Town Council will consider the proposal Wednesday. (Send the Council an email.) ... Gatorback Skate Thumbnail of Gatorframehas unveiled a prototype of its new Gatorframe. The frame includes an integrated heel brake (for use with the Gatorback leash) yet still weighs only 220 grams. (Go to more info.) ... Inline racing returns to the Road America racecourse in Wisconsin on June 3rd. Skaters will compete in a 13 and 20K on the historic 4-mile track. (Go to Summer Event Calendar.) ... Olympic champion Chad Hedrick will provide the first kick for Houston's new professional soccer team, the Dynamo. The ceremonial kick comes April 2nd at Robertson Stadium.

(March 14, 2006)
Kids Still Love to Skate
The idea has emerged lately that inline skating is primarily a sport for active middle aged types. But don't believe it. A study shows that most U.S. skaters are children between the age of 6 and 17. (Go to the Planet story.)

Skatin' Place Is Back
D. Miles Jr.'s cable access show returns to San Francisco tonight after a four year absence. Skatin' Place will air at 9 p.m. on cable station 29 and will return on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. No word yet on the subject of tonight's show. The old Skatin' Place featured everything from skate dancing to inline racing. Miles, the head of the California Outdoor Rollerskating Association, plans to post aired segments on the Skatin' Place web site. (Watch the old intro.)

Skate Bytes ...
A local inline hockey league has stepped forward with a plan to save the Davis Indoor Skating Center in California. The league plans to lease the large rink from the owners, who had planned to close it at the end of the month. (Go to Davis Enterprise story.) ... Many of USA's top speed skaters will be competing this weekend in the Las Vegas High Roller Invitational. Among the luminaries will be reigning World Marathon Champion Joey Mantia and Junior Marathon Champion Brittany Bowe, who this year makes her transition to the adult division. (Go to more info.)

(March 15, 2006)
Skater Dies After Fall at Metrodome
Skater Carl Comparoni died Sunday from head injuries sustained when he fell during a skate session at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. Comparoni, a regular at the dome, was not wearing a helmet. (Go to the
Planet story.) (March 15, 2006)

Skate Bytes ...
Omaha, Nebr.., will be the site of the 2007 U.S. Speed and Figure Skating Championships (a.k.a.: Indoor Nationals). The event will fill the old Civic Auditorium for 22 days in July. ... The Freedom Run & Roll is scheduled for Oct. 21st in Mays Landing, N.J. The event includes inline races of 5 and 10 kilometers. (Go to the Fall Event Calendar.) ... Learn from some of the best at next week's Banked Track Clinic in Cooper City, Fla. Among the instructors will be David and Derek Downing and Ed Mueller. (Go to Spring Event Calendar.)

(March 16, 2006)
Aggressive Skaters Form New League
A new league is grinding to life with the goal of drawing more young people to aggressive skating. The Amateur Inline League plans four events this year, including a championship Nov. 4th. Events will be at Woodward West extreme sports camp in California. Organizers also plan a series of U.S. seminars. "We want to promote aggressive rollerblading in a positive manner," said skate pro Richie Velasquez. (Go to more info.)

Skate Bytes ...
Chad Hedrick and Shani Davis will renew their rivalry this weekend at the All-Around Championships in Calgary. Davis won the title last year; Hedrick, the year before. The Calgary Olympic Oval is Davis' home rink.

(March 17, 2006)
The Beginner's Guide to Outdoor Racing
thumbnail of Kim PerkinsFinally — a comprehensive guide to inline marathoning and outdoor racing! We've got a2a champ Kim Perkins to thank for it. She put together a 5-part guide that covers all the basics, including what race category to enter, how to skate in a paceline, how to prepare for a race — and even how to turn pro. (Go to the Beginner's Guide to Outdoor Racing.)

Skater's Death Sparks Helmet Giveaway
In response to the skating death of a colleague, fire inspectors in St. Paul, Minn., are starting a free-helmet program. (Go to the
Planet story.)

Terra-bite: Landroller Recalls 1400 Skates
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Landroller is recalling Terra 9 skates made between July and December last year. A draft press release from the consumer commission says "a wheel could detach or the brake could fail, causing the skater to fall and suffer serious injury." No injuries have reported to date. "Consumers should stop using these skates immediately and contact Landroller to receive free replacement parts," according to the press release, which Landroller posted on its web site. (Go to press release.)

Skate Bytes ...
Brazilian aggressive skater Fabiola da Silva shows off some of her tricks (and explains how to do them) in the new Book of Cool ($40). The book, which includes three DVDs, features tutorials on everything from grinding to pen twirling. (Go to web site.)

(March 18, 2006)
Wolverine Women Hit Jackpot in Vegas
thumbnail of Wolverines emblemThe perennially powerful Wolverine women dominated the relay events at the Las Vegas High Roller Invitational yesterday. The Michigan women won the 3-lady relay and made up 3 of the members of the winning 4-lady squad. (Go to race highlights.) (March 18, 2006)

Shani Holds Slim Lead Over Chad
At the halfway point, Shani Davis holds a slim lead over Chad Hedrick in the World All-Around Championships in Calgary. Davis won today's 500 meters and finished fourth in the 5000 meter. Hedrick, the former inline champ, finished third in the 500 meters and second in the 5000 meters. The title will be settled tomorrow when the skaters line up for the 1500 and 10,000 meters. Italian Enrico Fabris sits in third place. (Go to results.)

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Copyright © 2006 by Robert Burnson

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