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Olympic Skating Champion, Kristi Yamaguchi Leads Figure Skating Elite in Search Of Skating's Next Star

Judges include US National Champ Rudy Galindo and Olympic medalists Elvis Stojko and Oksana Grishuk

Competition begins March 20 at 10pm ET/7pm PT on WE: Women's Entertainment

NEW YORK, NY, JANUARY 11, 2006 – Olympic figure skating champion Kristi Yamaguchi will lead WE: Women's Entertainment's worldwide search to find Skating's Next Star. The competition begins Monday, March 20 at 10:00pm ET/7:00pm PT and will be judged by skating champions Rudy Galindo, Elvis Stojko and Oksana Grishuk.

As the 2006 Winter Olympics close in late February, a new figure skating champion will be crowned and world-wide interest in this artistic sport will once again peak, leading fans to wonder, "What does it take to be a top world figure skater?" WE: Women's Entertainment hopes to answer that question as cameras follow contestants through their struggles on the ice and the drama behind the scenes in their new series Skating's Next Star.

It is hard to believe a sport as graceful and elegant on the ice can be as challenging, emotional and agonizing as professional figure skating. This new true life competition series from WE: Women's Entertainment lifts the curtain on the off-ice drama as viewers watch skaters battle it out in head-to-head competition, dealing with the joy of victory and heartbreak of defeat.

From the first performance to the final elimination, WE: Women's Entertainment is giving twelve skaters from around the world, who have fell short on their quest for skating greatness, a second chance. Watch as professional skaters battle the pressure and each other in the hopes of becoming Skating's Next Star.

Striving for the perfect program is difficult enough, but these contestants will be judged by some of the most accomplished skaters of our time, including US National Champion Rudy Galindo and Olympic medalists Elvis Stojko and Oksana Grishuk. In addition to explaining the technicalities of skating, these champions will be judging contestants on everything from their technical evolution, to style, to personality. Nothing is off limits from the candid criticism or praise of these judges.

Skating's Next Star is produced by Major League Figure Skating.

Kristi Yamaguchi
Kristi Yamaguchi is an Olympic Gold Medalist; two-time World Champion and US National Champion. Along with pairs partner Rudy Galindo she won the 1988 Junior Pairs Championship and the Senior Paris Championships in 1989 and 1990. Kristi was the first American woman to win the Olympic Gold Medal since Dorothy Hamill in 1976. Later, as a professional, she won four World

Professional titles and was honored as 1996 Skater of the Year by American Skating World. Kristi has been named to the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame, the World Skating Hall of Fame and USOC Olympic Hall of Fame. Kristi toured for ten years with Stars On Ice and continues to be involved in televised skating specials. Off the ice, Kristi spends time with her husband, NHL 'Carolina Hurricanes' defenseman, Bret Hedican, and their two daughters, Keara, 2, and new baby, Emma.

Rudy Galindo
Born in San Jose, California, Rudy Galindo loved skating from an early age. In 1987 he won the World Junior Championship in singles before temporarily giving up on singles competition to concentrate on pairs skating with his then partner, Kristi Yamaguchi. Together they won the 1988 World Junior Championship and the US Senior Championships in 1989 and 1990. Following this he returned to singles skating and in 1996 won the men's title at the US Figure Skating Championships and later that year a bronze medal a the World Championship. Since then, Rudy has participated in many professional competitions, winning the World Professional Championship in 1998, as well as earning several other titles. He performs in the "Champions on Ice" national tours and exhibits all over the country, with emphasis on raising money to combat the AIDS epidemic.

Elvis Stojko
Canadian figure skating champion, Elvis Stojko, began skating at 4, won his first trophy at 6 and continues to entertain audiences with his exciting performances. A seven time Canadian Figure Skating Champion, Stojko has also won the World Figure Skating Championships in 1994, 1995, & 1997. He was part of the Canadian Olympic Team in 1994 & 1998, bringing home the silver medal for Men's Singles competition in both years. Elvis turned professional in 2002, and is involved with a number of charities.

Oksana Grishuk
Oksana began her career as a singles skater at age 4. By 12 she had switched to ice-dancing, and together with original partner Alexander Chichkov won Silver and Gold medals at the World Junior Championships. When health problems forced Alexander to leave the sport she began skating with Evgeny Platov. Together with Platov, she is the only ice-dancer to ever win two Olympic Gold medals and four Ice Dancing World Championships. Following their medal wins the duo toured with Champions on Ice before splitting up in 1998. Today Oksana lives in California with her 3-year-old daughter, Skyler. She continues to skate, as well as teach and choreograph programs for other skaters.

About Major League Figure Skating, LLC
Major League Figure Skating (MLFS) was founded to imagine, create, develop and produce Figure Skating events for television and live audiences. MLFS is dedicated to developing opportunities for professional skaters. These opportunities include team based competitions, dazzling ice shows, television productions, star appearances and talent management.

About WE: Women's Entertainment
WE: Women's Entertainment is the only cable network dedicated to helping women connect to one another and the world around them. With quality original programming including the hit series "Bridezillas," unique movie packages like "Three Men and A Chick Flick," topical specials and its public affairs initiative WE Empowers Women, the network supports women and appeals to their interests in pop culture, relationships and personal style. WE: Women's Entertainment is a subsidiary of Rainbow Entertainment Services and is currently seen in over 56 million homes.

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    WE: Women's Entertainment
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    WE: Women's Entertainment
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