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Jan 26, 2016 6:18 PM

World Figure Skating championship coming to Boston


BOSTON - TD Garden is the home of the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins, but this season it's home ice for the 2016 ISU World Figure Skating Championship.

Two hundred athletes from 30 countries will be competing in the event, being held in Boston for the first time ever.

"Mentally, I think that's where most of the preparation has to be," said Ashley Wagner, a U.S. bronze medalist and Olympian. "It's tough because you're going up against the best the entire world has to offer."

"Early mornings and long days," Maia Shibutani said of the training leading up to an event like this. Maia and her brother, Alex, train for five hours at a time together with their ice dance routine and then add countless off-ice work.

Alex was born in Boston. It is the very city that he and Maia qualified to go to the Sochi Olympics, where they met Bruins captain Zdeno Chara.

"We met 'Z' in Sochi," Alex said. "We saw him again today so that was great... I'm a big Boston sports fan so I'm like geeking out looking at all the banners."

They've been skating partners for 12 years, competing around the world. But jumps and lifts weren't in Alex's initial plans.

"I got taken to the rink to watch her [Maia] and I was looking on the ground looking for quarters to play arcade games and bubble hockey, and people weren't dropping a lot of change. So I got out on the ice and tried it myself, and here we are."

For the first time in seven years, the event will be in the US. Home ice advantage for team USA. The next champions to be named on TD Garden ice will be March 28th through April 3.


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