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INTERNATIONAL SKATING UNION TO OFFER PRIZE MONEY
Published February 13, 1995
"Worried about losing its top Olympic Prospects to the pros, the International Skating Union probably will start offering prize money in the events it runs," according to John Powers of the BOSTON GLOBE. The ISU is worried that amateurs will go for the money in made-for-TV events "now instead of later." ISU President Ottavio Cinquanta: "A market is a market. If a (professional) skater has better conditions, then we will have to work out things to give more money to stay with us" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/12). SKATING UNDER THE SCOPE: ESPN's Jimmy Roberts reported on the increased popularity and money in figure skating one year after the Harding-Kerrigan incident. The money for professional figure skaters has increased substantially due to additional exposure through made-for-TV events. Professional skating promoter Michael Burg called the Nancy-Tonya affair a "catalyst": "It stimulated the chemical reaction a lot faster than what naturally would have happened." Paul Wylie, who was considering giving up pro skating to attend law school, says the Harding- Kerrigan has propelled the sport's growth: "There's no way I could go to law school now, it just wouldn't make sense." USFSA President Claire Ferguson reports recreational rink usage is up 200-300% (ESPN, 2/12).