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FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS HOPE FOR STRONG GATE FOR FINALS
Published January 8, 1998
The biggest crowd "so far" at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships held at the CoreStates Center was last night's 6,453, but "neither the local organizing committee nor CoreStates people are concerned," according to Edward Moran of the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS. CoreStates Complex President Peter Luukko said "he expects the final total attendance to be the largest ever" for the event, topping the record of 114,444 in San Jose in '96. He added that bigger crowds are expected for the Men's and Ladies' finals, which are tonight and Saturday night (DAILY NEWS, 1/8). TALK SOUP: Campbell's has "cooked itself into a mini- controversy" by announcing it will feature U.S. champions Tara Lipinski, Michelle Kwan and Nicole Bobek on 140 million soup can labels and TV spots to run during the Nagano Games. While Lipinski and Kwan "are sure things" for the Games, the third spot will be decided today and Saturday at the Championships. Challenger Tonia Kwiatowski: "Anything can happen in skating, and you never know what. So, for them to announce that, that's their choice. But let's see if I can mix things up" (Phil Rosenthal, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 1/8). TWO STARS: Kwan and Lipinski are featured in THE NEW YORKER by John Seabrook, who writes the two "seem prepared for ice-princesshood in ways that Nancy Kerrigan and Oksana Baiul did not. Both are named after mass-culture commodities -- Michelle for the Beatles song, Tara for the plantation in 'Gone with the Wind'" (NEW YORKER, 1/12).