Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, fresh off a silver-medal winning performance at the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships last week in Los Angeles, are not about to sit on their laurels. The 2006 Olympic silver medalists and 2010 medal hopefuls are in the midst of a busy schedule during which they will perform in five shows with the Smucker's Stars on Ice tour, appeared at the taping of the TV blockbuster show, Dancing with the Stars, and help benefit a great cause at the Figure Skating in Harlem Gala in New York.
Belbin and Agosto will begin performing with the Smucker's Stars on Ice tour April 3 in Hershey, Pa., and then will skate April 4 in Bridgeport, Conn., April 5 in Boston, April 10 in Manchester, N.H., and close with a show April 11 in Portland, Maine.
Headlined by 2006 Olympic Silver medalist Sasha Cohen, the Smucker's Stars on Ice cast will feature all of the fireworks and theatrics of the Stars on Ice tours in the past, with creative ensemble numbers and individual routines featuring Olympic, world and national champions. Evan Lysacek, the newly crowned 2009 world champion, also announced he will be on tour for five shows as well.
The Figure Skating in Harlem event, which is honoring Tai Babilonia and New York's First Lady Michelle Paige Paterson, will be held at the Wollman Rink in Central Park April 6 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. In addition to Belbin and Agosto, Lysacek will also be at the star-studded event, as will six-time U.S. champion Todd Eldredge, Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hughes, Olympic bronze medalist Timothy Goebel, 2006 world champion Kimmie Meissner, Olympic champion Viktor Petrenko and reigning American champion Alissa Czisny.
Belbin and Agosto, the most decorated American ice dancers in history, had quite a roller coaster of a season. After missing the world podium for the first time in four years last season when they placed fourth, the couple announced it would leave its longtime coaches in Detroit and train instead with 1980 Olympic champions Natalia Linichuk and Gennadi Karponosov in Aston, Pa. Then Belbin and Agosto were forced to withdraw from the 2009 U.S. Championships as Agosto recuperated from a back injury.
But their up-and-down season ended on a very high note, with Belbin and Agosto showing they are still one of the best teams in the world. With the Olympics in Vancouver less than a year away, there is no doubt Belbin and Agosto are medal contenders.