OMAHA (kptm) - It's the last day of the U.S. Figure Skating Championship and while fans are sad to see it come to an end, many are encouraged to pursue their dreams.
Thousands of fans came out to watch dozens of ice skaters put it all on the line for the championship title. Gary Gates brought his granddaughter to the event and after today he says it's highly likely that she'll pick up a pair of skates. "Oh it's outstanding ya know, Omaha's become such a capital for all the sports. For her…to give her a chance to see figure skating at this level's fantastic, great opportunity for her and the city," Gates says.
"I hear you're a gymnast, what do you think now about figure skating?" "That I really want to try it," granddaughter Elissa Tews says.
And she's not the only one…Taylor Mennenga says, "it's pretty amazing watching them and see that if I want to try any of those things it looks a lot of fun, so I want to try some of it."
For those who have been skating for years, watching these champions only motivates them to get better. "Convinced to like get, to work harder and to land all my jumps, just to do really good," Lauren Homecillo says.
One fan had the chance to skate alongside these greats. Isabella Radler picked up the flowers and gifts; fans tossed out on the ice after the skaters finished their performances. "You get nervous before you go out there cause you don't want to hit one of them when they're coming on the ice but it's fun," Radler says.
She says she even got a few laughs picking up some odd items…"people throw a lot of paper on the ice like with their signatures on it telling them like to follow them on twitter and stuff, it's pretty funny," Radler says.
While fans have greatly enjoyed seeing some of their favorite skaters in Omaha, skaters also say they've been pleasantly surprised by the crowds at the CenturyLink Center. "I think we had a lot of expectations coming in, in terms of the excitement and they definitely didn't disappoint," figure skating champion, Meryl Davis says.
After the U.S. Figure Skating Championship, the ice will be moved to TD Ameritrade park and the rink will be set up for the Mutual of Omaha Battles On Ice outdoor double header. That event will take place Saturday, February 9th.
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