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Nobunari Oda Returns to U.S. Ice in 'Home of Champions'

The Ice House in Hackensack, NJ will host an exhibition “Home of Champions” on Sunday, Aug. 24. The show will take place following the conclusion of the Moran Memorial Championships.

“We started the tradition of having and annual summer ice show, and I am happy to see it continue. This year it has special meaning as it is the 10-year anniversary of the Swiss Air crash when the Ice House lost their skating director and friend, Lori Moran. We will host this exhibition in honor of her,” said Craig Maurizi, director of Figure Skating.

The Ice House has a number of elite skaters who will perform in the show, including two-time Japanese silver medalist and 2005 World junior champion Nobunari Oda. It will be one of Oda's first appearances before a U.S. audience in a long time (he won Skate America in 2006).

The 21-year-old Japanese star missed all of last season. Oda’s problems began in the early hours of July 27, 2007 when he was stopped at a police checkpoint while riding his moped in downtown Tokyo. After failing a breathalyzer test, he was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.

The Japanese Skating Federation subsequently suspended Oda from competing for five months and took away his funding. He later withdrew from Japanese nationals, which meant he was not able to earn contest a spot for Four Continents or Worlds.

In early May, Oda announced that he was relocating to Hackensack, N.J. Since then, he has skated in several shows in Japan as well as one in Korea and one in Italy.

Also in the "Home of Champions" cast are 1994 Olympic champion Oksana Baiul, 2007 World champion Miki Ando, 2003 World bronze medalist Fumie Suguri and 2008 U.S. Junior and World junior champion Adam Rippon.

Oleksiy Polishchuk will also debut his new acrobatic partnership with Bert Cording at the show. Polishchuk has recently ended long time partnership with Vladimir Besedin. “I am very happy to work with Bert and continue performing,” Polishchuk said.

Cording has experience as both a single and a pairs skater and the new acrobatic duo plan to add more complex skating related acrobatic tricks into their repertoire. “We have been working together at the Ice House since May and are ready to perform for the first time in front of an audience,” Polishchuk added.

For more information on the Ice House ‘Home of Champions’ exhibition, visit the Ice House website at www.icehousenj.com.