Stamford, Conn. – April 6, 2020 – Olympic and World Champion figure skaters are coming together to help health workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic with a special fundraising event on Friday, April 17.
Jeremy Abbott, Brian Boitano, Michal Březina, Jason Brown, Kurt Browning, Alexei Bychenko, Ashley Cain, Sasha Cohen, Amber Glenn, Gracie Gold, Ekaterina Gordeeva, Scott Hamilton, Nancy Kerrigan, Naomi Lang, Timothy LeDuc, Tara Lipinski, Tatiana Navka, Viktor Petrenko, Evgeni Plushenko, Matteo Rizzo, Yuka Sato, Bradie Tennell, Johnny Weir, Rohene Ward** and more will join the “Blades for the Brave” livestream at 8 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. PT on Friday, April 17, benefitting Americares COVID-19 response.
“Figure skating is a worldwide sport—we are joining together from Moscow to New York to Tokyo and every country, state and city in between to support health care workers, first responders and our neighbors and contribute to Americares COVID-19 relief efforts,” said Olympic bronze medalist and two-time national champion Gracie Gold. “I am proud to join my fellow competitors from around the world for the most important competition of our lives. Let’s make sure we win against this heartbreaking disease.”
The participating skaters represent nine countries including Canada, Czech Republic, France, Israel, Italy, Japan, Russia, Ukraine and the United States. The one-hour show, hosted by Jason Brown and Gracie Gold, will air LIVE on Bladesforthebrave.org and Americares Facebook and Twitter feeds and YouTube channel.
Fans will have the opportunity to hear how their favorite skaters are coping while quarantined and watch entertaining videos of them on and off the ice. The skaters will encourage viewers to donate to Americares, a health-focused relief organization providing critically needed protective gear and training for health workers in COVID-19 hot spots in the United States and around the world.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have the support of the biggest names in figure skating as we fight to protect frontline health workers from COVID-19,” said Americares President and CEO Christine Squires. “Every donation to the Americares Coronavirus Response Fund means we can provide more protective gear and training to keep health workers safe and supported during this unprecedented time.”
Americares is delivering protective gear and other critically needed supplies for health workers in COVID-19 hot spots worldwide. In the United States, Americares has delivered protective supplies such as masks, gloves and disinfecting supplies, to heath facilities in 25 states. Americares is also training health workers in infection prevention and control, mental health and psychosocial support and disaster preparedness.
Tara Modlin-Maurizi, owner of Fireworks Sports Marketing, came up with the concept for Blades for the Brave after speaking with friends, colleagues and clients from the elite figure skating world who wanted to do something to help the efforts of the frontline health care workers and first responders. For the past 20 years Fireworks Sports Marketing, based in Ridgewood, N.J., has represented figure skaters and Olympic athletes and has produced worldwide events.
“We are most proud that our entire team is volunteering their time during this pandemic to make Blades for the Brave a reality so our amazing skating family can come together to express their appreciation for these brave men and women all around the world,” said Modlin-Maurizi.
**Note: All skaters are confirmed to participate as of April 5, 2020.