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IFS New Briefs: Boitano Finalist For USOC Hall of Fame

IFS New Briefs: Boitano Finalist For USOC Hall of Fame

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1988 Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano is one of 18 individual finalists for induction into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame nomination vote is open to the public. Voting, which is taking place on the Hall of Fame website (www.usolympichalloffame.com), continues through March 28. A complete list of nominees can also be found on that web site.

Boitano also won four U.S. men’s title and two World titles. He captured the first of four consecutive U.S. titles in 1985 and went on to won his global titles in 1986 and 1988. Boitano also has won more professional titles than any other competitor in the history of the sport, including six World Professional championships.

Off the ice, Boitano’s career has been equally impressive. He won an Emmy Award for his starring role in “Carmen on Ice” (HBO) and launched his own skating tour. In 1988, he founded Youth Skate to introduce inner-city youth to the sport of figure skating. He formed White Canvas Productions in 1994 and continues to serve as artistic director for the company. He was inducted into both the World and U.S. Figure Skating halls of fame in 1996.

Winners will be announced April 15 at the Media Summit in Chicago, Ill. The Hall of Fame induction will be held June 19 in Chicago, Ill., at the Harris Theatre and will be televised by NBC.

Asada Training in Japan

Less than three weeks before the 2008 World Figure Skating Championships, Mao Asada headed back to Japan to train in the Chukyo University indoor figure skating rink, which has been designated the National Training Center by the government. The facility opened in 2007.

It appears the teenager has decided she no longer needs to train in the United States. She moved to the United States in 2006 when training facilities in Japan where not up to her standard.

Her agent, Mariko Wada, confirmed to IFS that the young Japanese star is training in her homeland.

Asada's coach in recent years, Rafael Arutunian (who works in Lake Arrowhead, Calif.), is not in Japan, not did he go with her to Korea where the Four Continents Championships were held last month.

Asada, currently No. 1 in the International Skating Union's rankings, returned to Japan after the 2008 Four Continents Championships in South Korea last month. Asada, the 2007 World silver medalist, took the ladies' gold medal at the Four Continents championships. She compiled a season's best total score of 193.25, and in the process defeating 2007 World champion Miki Ando, also of Japan.

Published reports indicate Asada will head to Sweden without a coach and that the teenage phenom will look for a new one after the World Championships.

Browning Takes a Stand for Dogs

The makers of Pedigree® have launched the Pedigree Adoption DriveTM campaign to raise funds and find loving homes for shelter dogs across Canada. Joining Pedigree® in this important program is figure skating supertsta Kurt Browning, a self proclaimed dog lover.

“I know first hand how amazing it is to have a dog in your life,” said Kurt Browning, a four-time World champion and Pedigree Adoption DriveTM spokesperson. “Growing up, we always had a dog, and I strongly believe in their ability to impact a person’s life in positive ways.

"In fact, as a child I even had a dog that taught me how to skate! I consider myself a true dog lover, which made getting involved with the Pedigree Adoption Drive campaign such an easy decision for me.”

The goal of the year-long campaign is to raise $500,000 to go towards helping dogs — be that covering vet care, vaccinations, shelter and food for approximately 2,000 dogs across the nation.

“There are too many dogs right now living in shelters waiting to be adopted,” said Kevin Lake, Marketing Director for Pedigree®. “The Pedigree Adoption DriveTM campaign is all about encouraging Canadians to consider adopting a shelter dog, even if you can’t adopt a dog right now, there are lots of other great ways people can contribute, just go to www.mypedigree.ca to find out how.”

The makers of Pedigree® have partnered with 26 shelters across Canada and will be donating a minimum of $5,000 to each shelter to be used to provide support for dogs in their care.

In addition, shelters will receive a digital camera that can be used to upload pictures of available dogs on to their shelter page on www.mypedigree.ca. The makers of Pedigree® will also be providing new dog owners with a Pedigree® Adoption Starter kit which includes wet and dry food, treats, coupons and a dog owner’s handbook that outlines helpful tips and information about dog adoption.