Arts & Entertainment

'RISE' highlights skating tragedy

In 1961, an airliner crashed near Brussels, Belgium, killing all on board, including all 18 members of the U.S. Figure Skating Team and 16 family members, coaches and officials who were on their way to the World Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

On Feb. 17, the documentary RISE will be shown in 500 theaters nationwide to honor the team that died 50 years ago. In the Tri-Cities, it will be shown at 8 p.m. at Regal 8 Cinemas at Columbia Center mall. Tickets are $15 at the box office.

RISE is narrated by TV personality Matt Lauer, and honors the lives of all those who perished in the airline crash, which killed 73 people.

Also featured in the film are former gold medal skaters Dorothy Hamill, Peggy Fleming, Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano and Michelle Kwan, with tributes from Dakota Fanning and Patricia Clarkson.

Performing a skating exhibition in the film will be 2010 Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek, and there will be interviews with other American figure skating legends.

The film recounts the effects of the crash, which set back American figure skating dominance until the 1968 Olympics.

The Tri-City showing is sponsored by the Tri-City Figure Skating Club, which has more than 80 members and 30 competitive skaters.

A national memorial fund was formed after the loss of the U.S. Figure Skating Team, which provides scholarship money to qualified skaters to help them compete at events worldwide.

All proceeds from the ticket sales go to the fund.

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*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;